Nov. 21, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -- After a lopsided loss at Baylor, Stanford wanted to give its home crowd something much better. The Cardinal were aggressive from the opening tip and everybody found a way to get involved.
Jillian Harmon led five players in double figures with 13 points, and the No. 8 Cardinal responded from that defeat with an 84-46 rout of New Mexico on Thursday night.
"It was really important to show we could come back from a tough loss," Harmon said. "We were disappointed because we didn't come out and play the way we wanted to."
Reserve Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots for the Cardinal, who dropped six spots in this week's rankings from No. 2 after their 81-65 defeat Sunday at Baylor.
Stanford (2-1) controlled this game from the start on the way to its 19th straight regular-season victory at Maples Pavilion since a loss to rival California on Feb. 4, 2007.
Stanford point guard JJ Hones returned after sitting out the Cardinal's first two games with a stress reaction in her right foot and showed no signs she'd been hurt. Hones scored 12 points with three 3-pointers. Coach Tara VanDerveer certainly wanted to see how Hones looked and felt heading into Sunday's showdown at home against No. 3 Rutgers.
"It was so nice to play. It was killing me sitting on the bench," said Hones, who missed part of her freshman season with a serious knee injury that required surgery.
Freshman Lindy La Rocque earned her first start and swished a baseline 3-pointer for Stanford's first points of the game, then hit two more later as the Cardinal began the game with four 3s. La Rocque finished with 12 points and four 3s, while Jeanette Pohlen also scored 12 with four 3s.
"It's one of those things where somebody gets on fire and everybody kind of feeds off that," Pohlen said.
VanDerveer has repeatedly praised Pohlen, who showed up much improved thanks to workouts with a track coach while back home in Southern California over the summer.
Hones checked in at the 13:04 mark of the first half and quickly made two 3s. Stanford connected on eight of its first 10 3-point tries and the Cardinal's 10 3-pointers in a half tied the school record, also done on Jan. 20, 2005, against UCLA. They had 12 for the game, four off the school mark.
"Having JJ coming back really changes our team," VanDerveer said. "She gave us great stability with her experience, her poise."
Jayne Appel, who shot 3-for-11 for seven points at Baylor, faces double-teams almost every time she gets the ball -- so Appel turned her attention toward finding her teammates. She dished out seven assists to go with 10 rebounds and didn't score the first of her five points until a free throw with 15:39 remaining.
Amy Beggin had 12 points and five rebounds for New Mexico (3-1), which shot just 27 percent and 4-for-17 from long range on the heels of a 68-66 win over DePaul on Monday. This was the Lobos' first road game of the year. They missed their first eight field-goal attempts of the second half before Valerie Kast's 3 at 12:38.
The Lobos have three starters back from a team that reached the program's seventh straight NCAA tournament last season, but this was their biggest test so far and they had a tough time keeping up with the much deeper and taller Cardinal.
This marked only the second meeting between the schools after Stanford won 73-54 last season in Albuquerque.
Former Stanford All-American Candice Wiggins, the reigning WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year following her rookie season with the Minnesota Lynx, attended her second in as many home games.
Without Wiggins, Stanford knows it will take time to find its way.
"We just have so many talented players and with the loss of somebody like Candice, people are still learning their roles and picking their spots," Harmon said. "I think it's coming along."