Wiggins hits 1,700 mark before leaving game with sprained ankle

STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford watched a key player go down with an injury for the third straight game, and this time it was all-everything Candice Wiggins.

Wiggins scored 23 points and topped 1,700 for her career before leaving with a sprained right ankle, leading No. 11 Stanford past Washington 80-54 on Saturday.

"Considering what our team has been through, I couldn't have asked much more from people than what they gave today," coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Candice had an excellent floor game. Obviously we're very concerned about her ankle being sprained. It's the same ankle she sprained before in the Washington game. I think it's a worse sprain than before. She is in pain."

Wiggins, a junior and the two-time reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, went down with 7:59 remaining after driving to the basket for a layup. Wiggins, whose ankle was still healing from the original sprain last month against the Huskies, landed and writhed in pain before being helped to the locker room. She was scheduled to have an X-ray, and VanDerveer didn't expect to know more until Sunday.

The Cardinal (21-4, 13-1 Pac-10) beat the Huskies for the third straight time and 10th time in 12 meetings overall. It was another lopsided win at home for Stanford in the series after it beat the Huskies 100-69 last Feb. 23 to clinch a sixth straight conference title.

The Huskies (15-11, 8-7) have lost seven of 10 after starting the Pac-10 season 5-0. Emily Florence had 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the Huskies.

Stanford won its second straight after a 50-game home Pac-10 winning streak ended with a 72-57 loss to rival California on Feb. 4 -- a defeat that snapped the Cardinal's 17-game winning streak this season and ended a nearly six-year unbeaten run against the Golden Bears.

Kristen Newlin had 12 points and nine rebounds and Brooke Smith added 12 points, 12 rebounds, two blocked shots and three assists for the Cardinal. Freshman Melanie Murphy, who is getting more playing time after point guard JJ Hones was lost to a season-ending knee injury earlier this month, had season-bests of 11 points and eight assists.

"After the Cal loss, we came out in practice and knew we had to turn things around," Newlin said. "This was a really important week and we have to continue doing that in practice."

Washington leading scorer Cameo Hicks was limited to eight points on 3-for-14 shooting. Stanford made things tough on the Huskies both in the paint and on the perimeter with its player-to-player defense.

Wiggins, who remains in fifth place on the school's career scoring list, hit back-to-back 3-pointers after Washington pulled within 38-29 at 17:36 to keep Stanford well out in front. Her shots sparked a 20-2 run by the Cardinal, which also featured seven straight points by Wiggins at the end of the spurt.

"We wish Candice all the best," Washington coach June Daugherty said. "That's a scary situation."

Jillian Harmon scored seven of her eight points in the first seven minutes and grabbed 10 rebounds for Stanford, which used a 7-0 spurt midway through the opening half to build a 24-7 lead. The Huskies answered with a 9-0 run to get within 24-16 on Sami Whitcomb's 3-pointer at 5:17.

Stanford went nearly five minutes without scoring during Washington's stretch but held the Huskies to 30 percent from the field in the first half on the way to a 37-25 lead at the break.

Washington hasn't won in Maples Pavilion since a 74-62 victory Feb. 18, 1999. The Huskies were trying for their first sweep of the Bay Area schools since the 1990-91 season after rallying from a 19-point second-half deficit to beat No. 20 California 79-76 in overtime Thursday night.

"When you get behind Stanford like that, it's so hard to come back," Florence said. "I don't think we had the legs or the energy we had against Cal."

Newlin, a 6-foot-5 center, was in the starting lineup as usual for the Cardinal after tweaking her neck midway through the second half of a 60-34 win over Washington State on Thursday. She was able to practice Friday.

"We've got to control the things we can control. We can't control those injuries," VanDerveer said.

Wiggins' mother, Angela, traveled from the San Diego area for the game.

"If Candice is out for the next couple of games or the next couple of weeks, we have to find a way to be successful," VanDerveer said.

The Cardinal play at the Oregon schools next week before returning home for the final weekend of the Pac-10 schedule against UCLA and USC.