10:00 PM ET, February 15, 2007
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- After stumbling through the first half, Stanford came roaring back with a little help from injured guard Candice Wiggins and a lot of help from freshman Jayne Appel.Appel had a season-high 28 points to go with 17 rebounds, Wiggins entered in second half to steady the offensive attack, and Stanford (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today; No. 9 AP) beat Oregon State 70-55 Thursday night.Brooke Smith added 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting for the Cardinal (22-4, 14-1 Pac-10), who have rebounded from a Feb. 4 loss to California with three straight wins. Stanford scored 52 points in the paint to the Beavers' 18."Our team did a good job getting the ball inside," Stanford coach Tara VanDerVeer said. "We learned from our loss, we weren't taking bad shots or quick perimeter shots. We went with what works for us, and that was going with Jayne Appel and Brooke Smith."Ashley Allen scored 15 points to lead the Beavers (8-16, 3-12), who dropped their sixth straight. Casey Nash added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Julie Futch had 10 points and 10 rebounds.The Cardinal struggled in the first half, falling behind by 11 at one point with Wiggins in street clothes with an ankle injury.Wiggins, averaging 16.8 points, was hurt last week against Washington, but entered midway through the second half, just after Stanford took a three-point lead. She took just two shots and scored three points, but Stanford never looked back.VanDerveer said if the game wasn't close, she wouldn't have chanced it with Wiggins."If nothing else, it gave us a psychological boost out there," she said.The Beavers took a 16-10 lead after three-straight 3-pointers, two from Allen.The Cardinal cut the lead to two, but the Beavers went on an 11-4 run to lead by nine.Stanford closed the gap by getting the ball inside to Appel, who had 14 points in the half. The Beavers led 34-32 at the break.With the score tied 43-43 at 11:47, Appel converted a 3-point play for the Cardinal.Wiggins, who jogged around the Gill Coliseum basement at halftime to loosen up her ankle, entered the game and made a 3-pointer at 8:08 that put Stanford up 53-46. The Cardinal followed that with a 10-3 run that put the game away. Wiggins came out with 1:58 left."When the opportunity came in the second half to play, I was really excited about that," said Wiggins, who limped into the press room after the game with ice bags taped to her ankle. "I think that's why the pain wasn't as bad."Appel, a 6-foot-4 reserve forward, was 12-of-20, while being guarded mostly by the 6-1 Nash and 5-11 Judie Lomax."We did the best we could to stop (the inside game)," Oregon State coach LaVonda Wagner said. "Jayne Appel, she was able to shoot right over them."Lomax had nine points, and point guard Mercedes Fox-Griffin had seven points, seven assists and three steals, but also seven turnovers and 1-of-9 shooting for Oregon.