(7) Stanford 73

(26-3, 15-2 Pac-12)

Washington 53

(12-17, 7-10 Pac-12)

    10:00 PM ET, February 29, 2008

    1 2 T
    #7STAN 38 3573
    WASH 36 1753

    Stanford inches closer to clinching Pac-10 title

    SEATTLE (AP) -- JJ Hones came up with a quick way to silence coach Tara VanDerveer's halftime speech about Stanford's lack of rebounding.

    Don't miss.

    "If we make shots we don't need to rebound and we don't get yelled at for not rebounding," Hones said.

    Hones scored eight of her 16 points during Stanford's 12-0 run to start the second half, star Candice Wiggins inched closer to the Pac-10 scoring record with 22 points, and the seventh-ranked Cardinal pulled away from Washington for a 73-53 win Friday night.

    Stanford needs a win Sunday at lowly Washington State to wrap up at least a share of its eighth straight Pac-10 title, no matter what No. 9 California does at Washington. A win against the Cougars would also give Stanford the top seed in the Pac-10 tournament.

    Sunday also could be a coronation of Wiggins as the best scorer in Pac-10 history, a topic she would like to quickly put aside. The senior guard has 2,400 career points, pulling within 14 of Lisa Leslie's conference record of 2,414.

    "Obviously it's a huge feat and it's amazing, and I'm going to be proud of that accomplishment," Wiggins said. "But right now I'm just enjoying my last go with my teammates. The only time I think about it is when I'm reminded of it."

    Wiggins overcame a sluggish start on Friday to make nine of 18 shots and grabbed 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Her final points came when she stopped a Washington fastbreak with a steal and sprinted the length of the court for an uncontested left-handed layup with 5 minutes left.

    Jayne Appel scored 12 and Kayla Pedersen added 11 as the Cardinal (26-3, 15-2) won their 14th straight.

    "The guards led the way for us, which is what it's going to take down the stretch," VanDerveer said.

    Andrea Plouffe led Washington (12-17, 7-10) with 11 points, but the Huskies shot just 28 percent and scored only 17 second-half points.

    "You can't get down with a team like that," Washington guard Emily Florence said. "They're not going to let you come back."

    Despite dominating the last four meetings against Washington, winning by an average of 28 points, the Cardinal struggled to shake the Huskies, leading just 38-36 at halftime.

    But Hones and Wiggins quickly sparked the Cardinal. Hones opened the second half with five quick points. Appel scored on the interior, Hones hit another 3-pointer and Wiggins capped the spurt with a driving layup for a 50-36 Stanford lead.

    Washington went scoreless for nearly 6 minutes, missing its first nine shots of the second half. The Huskies finally got on the board with Katelan Redmon's basket, but Stanford scored 12 of the next 15 points to push the lead to 62-42 with 10 minutes left.

    Hones made six of nine shots, including 4-for-5 on 3-pointers, as the Cardinal shot 54.5 percent.

    "The first five minutes of the second half really set the tone," VanDerveer said. "JJ knocking down her shots, Candice hitting her shots, just the confidence I saw from Candice and JJ."

    The Huskies used a scrappy trap defense and aggressive offensive rebounding to stay even with Stanford for much of the first half.

    Even when Wiggins hit consecutive 3s late in the half to put the Cardinal up 35-30, Washington kept Stanford from pulling away. Sami Whitcomb scored all six of her first-half points in the final 4:13, including a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to pull Washington to 38-36 at the break.

    But the Huskies made just seven of 37 shots in the second half.

    "We have to make sure we put two halves together," Washington coach Tia Jackson said. "I probably sound like a broken record, because that's happened quite a bit this year. That's indicative of a young team."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2007-08 Season

    Dec 30, 2007 @STAN 77, WASH 42Recap | Box Score
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