Wiggins gets record, Stanford gets the win

Cardinal senior All-American becomes team's all-time leading scorer in 77-51 win over USC

Candice Wiggins stood beside Tara VanDerveer afterward, not really sure what to do next. She'd just scored 18 points in Stanford's 77-51 Pac-10 women's basketball victory over visiting USC on Thursday night and was awarded the game ball in a brief postgame ceremony.

The crowd already knew that Wiggins had become the school's all-time scorer during the first half, flashing signs in her honor and giving her standing ovations several times.

Wiggins passed Kate Starbird as Stanford's all-time leader when she grabbed an offensive rebound and converted it with 8:21 left to play in the first half.

Wiggins enters Saturday's 2 p.m. contest against visiting UCLA with 2,222 career points. She's 192 points away from tying the Pac-10 record held by USC grad Lisa Leslie.

"She's more than a great scorer, she's a great player," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "She's used to scoring a lot. She likes to shoot and she likes to score. She thinks shot right away but doesn't force shots. She has confidence and doesn't get upset when she misses."

Stanford (8-2, 18-3) missed 10 of its first 14 shots and was still leading by seven. There was no way the Cardinal was going to let the Women of Troy beat them again this season.

"This was a big game for us having lost to them down there," VanDerveer said. "We came out aggressive and executed well. We did an excellent job on Camille LeNoir, who really hurt us last time."

LeNoir scored 21 points in the win over Stanford on Jan. 6 in Los Angeles. On Thursday night she was 0-for-7 from the floor and never did attempt a free throw.

Jayne Appel also scored 18 points to go with nine rebounds and Jillian Harmon added 10 points. All three players were in double figures before the first half was over.

Wiggins scored all but three of her points in the first half, which is actually an oddity for her. She usually saves the best for crunch time but she played focused and determined from the outset.

"I'm feeling good," Wiggins said. "It was great to, sort of, get it over with, the whole record thing. I'm more excited that we were able to beat them after losing before. We're getting better and better in the second half of the season. It wasn't really on my mind until I was walking along the sidelines and saw a sign with something like '2,216 and counting' and that's when I figured it out."

She was also aware of when she broke the record. After all, the crowd of 2,790 was anticipating it from the start.

"I could tell because everyone got excited," Wiggins said. "Yeah, I knew."

Following the ceremony after the game, Wiggins tried to give the ball back thinking it was just a prop.

"I didn't realize I get to keep it," she said. "I'll find a special place for it."

After struggling early, the Cardinal broke loose on a 16-2 run to go up 21-6. Stanford made nine of 13 shots during a span that upped its lead to 38-15 with just under five minutes left in the first half.

"We were more focused on doing what we wanted to get done," Appel said. "We go with the mindset that every game is for a championship."

Stanford remains a game behind California in the Pac-10 race, tied with Arizona State.


Like this comment
Posted by Jules
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2008 at 8:23 am

Go Stanford!!

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