Appel, Stanford send Washington St. to 13th straight loss

STANFORD, Calif. -- Jayne Appel's father reminded her this week that her first college season is already nearing the end. Stanford hopes Appel's improved play will help the Cardinal extend the season with a deep postseason run in March.

Appel had 19 points and season-best 14 rebounds for her first career double-double and the 11th-ranked Cardinal handed last-place Washington State its 13th straight loss, 60-34 on Thursday night.

"Every game's exciting. Half my freshman Pac-10 season is done," Appel said. "I think it's all about practice and constantly trying to improve and getting better each game."

Candice Wiggins had 16 points and four rebounds while playing point guard most of the game in place of injured freshman JJ Hones, helping the Cardinal bounce back after a tough loss to rival California on Sunday. Brooke Smith added 12 points and seven rebounds, with Stanford shooting 46 percent and holding a 48-35 advantage on the boards.

The Cardinal (20-4, 12-1 Pac-10), who hit at least one 3-pointer for their 400th consecutive game but also committed 19 turnovers, have won all 44 meetings between the schools in a series that started during the 1982-83 season.

"This is just one of those games where it happened right after a very unfortunate loss. We really needed this game to trigger the rest of our season," Wiggins said. "It's about refocusing and regrouping."

Amanda DuRocher scored 10 points for cold-shooting Washington State (5-19, 1-13), which played Stanford tough in a 63-55 loss in Pullman on Jan. 13, but was ineffective on offense this time. The Cougars were shooting 11 percent at one point in the second half at 4-for-36.

Their 17.2 shooting percentage for the game was the lowest by a Stanford opponent since Pacific's 15.4 percent on Dec. 12, 2003.

"What Stanford did tonight is take us out of our inside game," Cougars coach Sherri Murrell said. "I thought we missed a lot of open looks and defensively Stanford did a good job."

Stanford led by as many as 31 and was up 28-11 at halftime, the fewest points allowed by the Cardinal in a half this season. Washington State, which came into the game shooting 36.8 percent from the floor, didn't make its first two-point field goal until a putback by Ebonee Coates at the 18:51 mark of the second half.

Stanford then went on an 11-0 run to build a 39-13 lead, getting eight points, including six in a row, from Appel during the spurt. The 6-foot-4 Appel, slowed by a shoulder injury early in the season, shot 8-for-14 and showed why she was such a heralded recruit out of nearby Pleasant Hill.

Center Kristen Newlin left midway through the second half after grabbing her neck in pain under the basket and did not return.

"I think it is serious. She was in obvious pain after the game," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She's not doing well right now."

Cissy Pierce moved into the starting lineup for Stanford after the Cardinal lost Hones, a freshman point guard, to a season-ending knee injury in the 72-57 loss to Cal on Sunday.

That loss -- Stanford's first defeat against Cal in nearly six years -- ended the Cardinal's 17-game winning streak and a 50-game home Pac-10 unbeaten run. They dropped three places in the poll this week, too.

VanDerveer used reserve guards Melanie Murphy and Markisha Coleman for more minutes in the absence of Hones, who will have surgery in the coming weeks to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

"I thought we had to come out and really make sure we played with a purpose," VanDerveer said. "We had to go inside and people were working really hard to get Jayne the ball and [Newlin] the ball. We were more patient."

The Cougars started 2-for-18. They made their first shot of the game with a 3-pointer by DuRocher, then missed eight straight field-goal tries before another 3 by DuRocher more than 6 minutes later.