Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - December 10, 2010

Stanford basketball teams back in action this weekend at home

by Rick Eymer

The Stanford men's and women's basketball teams shake off the rust of a two-week finals break and return to the court Sunday with a day-night (sort of) nonconference doubleheader.

The Cardinal men (4-2) hosts UC Riverside (3-4) at 5 p.m. while the third-ranked Stanford women (5-0) hosts Fresno State (6-2 entering Wednesday night's game at Cal State Bakersfield) at 1 p.m.

The men won't be at too much of a disadvantage as the Highlanders also took a two-week break from their basketball schedule for finals.

Stanford returns after a physically exhausting trip to the Anaheim Convention Center, where the Cardinal dropped two of three games. The team finished on a strange note, beating DePaul in overtime and than having junior guard Jeremy Green collapse soon after from dehydration and exhaustion.

Green, who was having some health issues, was fine after a visit to the local hospital and joined his teammates for the trip home.

Green is Stanford's leading scorer, averaging 15.3 points per game. He's a 43.2 percent shooter from three-point range.

The Highlanders enter the game coming off of an 82-75 win over UT San Antonio. Junior Phil Martin continues to lead the UC Riverside offensive attack upping his scoring average to 16.6 after a 22-point effort vs. the Roadrunners.

The Cardinal also hosts North Carolina AT&T at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, while the women go on the road.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, already a Hall of Fame member, may be the story for the next few days.

Only the seventh women's coach to reach 700 victories, she is on the verge of becoming just the fifth to record 800 or more. Of course, even should she win No. 799 Sunday against Fresno State, she's still fifth all-time.

Career victory No. 800 could come as early as Thursday at DePaul. And the 801st win might come against one of the four coaches who own more victories than VanDerveer: Tennessee's Pat Summit.

(This could go on and on, of course, as Stanford travels to USF, coached by Stanford grad and All-American guard Jennifer Azzi, and returns home to host Xavier and Connecticut to finish the calendar year).

Sunday's contest between Stanford and Fresno State will be the 25th all-time. The Cardinal holds an 18-6 edge in the series and has won the past six meetings.

Junior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads Stanford and the Pac-10 with an 18.3 scoring average and a 9.3 rebounding average.

Three other players also average double figures in scoring: Jeanette Pohlen (13.4), Kayla Pedersen (12.8) and Chiney Ogwumike (10.0). Pohlen needs three points to reach 1,000 and will join 31 previous players who have surpassed that mark.

Pedersen has a team-high 39 rebounds, good for a 7.8 average. She also leads the team with 5.5 assists a contest. She has a 3.4-1 assist to turnover ratio.

Chiney Ogwumike pulls down 6.6 rebounds a game and leads the team, with Sarah Boothe, with five blocked shots.

Fresno State, which reached the NCAA tournament last year, is currently riding a three-game winning streak.

Senior 6-foot-1 guard Hayley Munro, who played with the Australian national team program, leads the Bulldogs with a 14.0 scoring average and 7.5 rebounds a game. Senior guard Jalessa Ross scores at a 13.0 clip.

Women's soccer

Christen Press probably never considered the possibility of losing her final match at Stanford. The nation's leading scorer and all-time Cardinal in every career scoring record will move on without the coveted national title.

During Press' four years, Stanford reached the Final Four three times, and played in the championship match twice.

Last Sunday, Notre Dame edged the Cardinal, 1-0, to win the NCAA title. Still, there is no reason for Stanford (23-1-2) to feel bad. The last three years have been like no other in school history for the program, with records falling again and again.

Press, Allison McCann, Kira Maker, and Morgan Redman helped the Cardinal reach the zenith of the soccer world and have set in motion another historical run.

Stanford returns nine starters and four All-Americans, including Mariah Nogueira, Lindsay Taylor, Courtney Verloo, and Teresa Noyola.

"It's been a lot of fun playing for Stanford," said Press. "It's a great team and a great program. Performances like (freshman goalie Emily Oliver) just inspire you. They have a great future ahead."

Other returning starters include redshirt freshman Annie Case, sophomore defender Alina Garciamendez, junior Camille Levin and sophomore Rachel Quon.

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