10:00 PM ET, February 5, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- In its latest lopsided victory, Stanford realized it will have to play much better defense in the coming weeks to make a deep NCAA Tournament run.JJ Hones hit five of her team's season-best 13 3-pointers on the way to a career-high 20 points and No. 6 Stanford won its eighth straight game with a 96-74 victory over Santa Clara on Tuesday night."I was happy with our offense and thought we shot the ball really well. It was great to see JJ knock down her 3s," Coach Tara VanDerveer said. "But I think this will get our team's attention as for doing more defensively."Candice Wiggins added 20 points with three 3s in 21 minutes on the heels of her fourth Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and second in a row for the Cardinal. Stanford traveled 20 minutes down the 101 freeway for its final nonconference game before traveling Wednesday to Oregon for games against the Ducks on Thursday and Oregon State on Saturday.The Cardinal (20-3), who were coming off a weekend sweep of USC and UCLA to avenge their lone two Pac-10 losses, shot 13-for-26 from long range and led by as many as 26. That allowed VanDerveer to rest her regulars for much of the second half -- but not as much as she would have liked."We saw it as an opportunity and a big challenge because we knew they're an excellent 3-point shooting team," Wiggins said. "We were a little disappointed in our defense at times."The Cardinal started the game 15-for-18 but allowed the Broncos to get regular open looks from the perimeter -- and Santa Clara knocked down three of its first five 3-point tries.Stanford was 6-for-9 on 3s in the opening 11 minutes, three by Hones and two from Wiggins."It seemed like nobody was missing," Broncos coach Michelle Bento-Jackson said.Kayla Pedersen added 15 points with two 3s of her own as well as eight rebounds and Jillian Harmon had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals. The Cardinal, who held a 37-23 edge on the boards, were three 3-pointers short of the school record.Hones shot 5-for-6 on 3s and also dished out three assists."We've been shooting a lot in practice and listening to music while we are shooting, so it's relaxed," Hones said. "I think that's my job to knock down open shots."Wiggins started a 17-2 run with a three-point play at the 10:23 mark of the first half and Hones had two 3s during the spurt. Her fourth 3 of the game at 6:26 gave the Cardinal a 45-23 lead and Stanford held a 56-38 advantage at the break on 69-percent shooting.That matched Stanford's highest scoring half of the season, also accomplished in the team's season-opening 100-44 win at Yale on Nov. 9.Tracey Walker scored 23 points and Jen Gottschalk had 14 with five boards for Santa Clara (16-6) in its second straight defeat following a five-game winning streak. Maggie Goldenberger added nine points in place of injured leading-scorer Chandice Cronk, scoring seven straight points for Santa Clara early in the game before getting into foul trouble."Stanford is the No. 6 team and we had nothing to lose," Walker said. "I might as well give it my all from the beginning to the end. That's what I tried to do."Santa Clara lost Cronk, the fourth-leading scorer in the West Coast Conference at 17.1 points per game, to a career-ending knee injury Saturday during an 88-52 loss at Gonzaga."Obviously it was tough the last 24 hours," Bento-Jackson said. "We got the news last night after practice. Our hearts go out to Chandice."The senior guard tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee and sustained a leg fracture when she went up for a layin and her leg buckled in a collision with a defender. She was using crutches and will have surgery sometime next week.VanDerveer visited with Cronk before the game and offered her best wishes."That has to be really sad for their team," VanDerveer said.Soccer gold medalist Brandi Chastain, a former Santa Clara star, and ex-California and Santa Clara women's basketball coach Caren Horstmeyer were in attendance.
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