No. 5 Stanford runs past San Francisco in home opener

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford jumped to such a big lead that Candice Wiggins got to do more resting than usual.

Tara VanDerveer knows her team could use a break after returning late Monday from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Freshman Kayla Pedersen scored 18 points and Wiggins added 13 in limited time, leading the Cardinal (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) past San Francisco 96-61 in their home opener Wednesday night.

"I really liked how our team came out with a lot of energy," VanDerveer said. "We just came off a really long road trip. We showed no signs of it. We're trying to play more up-tempo. I liked what I saw."

Jillian Harmon had 16 points and seven rebounds for Stanford (6-1), which has the talent to be a balanced offensive team every night. Stanford is picked to win its eighth straight Pac-10 title.

USF guard Shay Rollins, the younger sister of NL MVP Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies, scored a team-high 19 points with five 3-pointers in the first meeting between the schools in nearly three years.

Necolia Simmons added 12 points, 11 rebounds and two steals and Dominique Carter also scored 12 for the Dons (3-4).

Wiggins scored five straight early during a 20-2 Stanford run to start the second half as USF missed nine of its first 10 shots.

"I think they just did what they did in the first half and kept playing," Carter said.

Stanford had to be happy with a lopsided victory after returning from a seven-day trip to the Virgin Islands, where the Cardinal placed third in the Paradise Jam after a 12-point loss to No. 2 Connecticut.

A sparse crowd turned out for the Cardinal's first regular-season home game at Maples Pavilion, where Stanford already hosted the U.S. national team in an exhibition matchup.

Stanford won its 14th straight in the series dating to the 1984-85 season and the Dons fell to 4-10 on The Farm.

Freshman guard Hannah Donaghe made her Stanford debut after missing time with a hip injury and scored 11 points. She was an important addition, too, after backup Stanford point guard Melanie Murphy underwent tests that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. She will miss the rest of the season and have surgery in the coming weeks.

Jayne Appel missed a couple of open shots from close range early but finished 4-of-7 for eight points and also contributed seven rebounds. Harmon, now coming off the bench for the Cardinal because of her recent struggles, shot 6-for-8 and made all four of her free throws. Stanford shot 58 percent for the game.

The Cardinal went hard to the offensive glass to create second and third chances, outrebounding the Dons 46-29.

"Their size clearly bothered us, at every spot," Dons coach Tanya Haave said. "When you play a top team, it can be beneficial to us to see what that level is all about."

Stanford made 13 of its first 17 shots (77 percent) -- 5-for-5 by Pedersen -- on the way to a 33-11 lead. And coach Tara VanDerveer went with three freshman on the floor together late in the first half as the Cardinal built a 49-28 lead at the break.

Murphy was hurt against Old Dominion on Saturday when, while trailing a player on a fast break, she tried to contest the shot from behind and came down awkwardly on her leg. Murphy, who will have surgery in the coming weeks once the swelling has subsided, is the second Stanford player lost for the year after forward Michelle Harrison sustained the same injury in the season opener Nov. 9 at Yale.

"Obviously it affects our team a lot when you have two players who have worked really hard in the offseason," VanDerveer said. "It's nothing we can control. Those things happen. Unfortunately they happen at a higher frequency in women's basketball, more than they should."