Sports


Appel's picture perfect finish on Senior Night for Stanford

She joins Val Whiting and Nicole Powell in an exclusive hoops club

Jayne Appel became a glamour girl this season in more ways than just having her picture in a magazine. The senior center also insured her place in Stanford women's basketball lore among the other All-Americans and trend setters.

The numbers look pretty enough, but she'd rather be hoisting a national championship trophy in early April. Now that would be glamorous.

Appel, who scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds in Saturday's 82-48 win over visiting Oregon State, joined past Stanford greats Val Whiting and Nicole Powell as the only players in program history to score at least 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.

Of more immediate concern to the senior center was the chance to celebrate yet another Pac-10 title in her final regular-season home game. Or, to be technical, clinch a tie for the title with three games remaining, all on the road.

Don't expect the second-ranked Cardinal (15-0, 25-1) to let up any time soon though. There's a lot left out on the table and Appel won't rest until she's cleared everything off.

"It's a tremendous honor but I want a national championship," Appel said. "Coming in to the game I had the mentality of just win the game first because it really wouldn't have been a celebration if we had lost."

The Cardinal has won its last 44 home games, and will likely get a chance to bump that streak up a couple of numbers come tournament time. It's already the second-longest in school history and you get the feeling Appel just won't stand still at second best any more.

"We're playing our best when it counts," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I think we can go a long way. We kind of hit a little bit of a lull through January but we've really picked it up in February. Obviously the best time to play your best is in March."

For those who were paying attention last March, Appel was flat out the best post player in the nation during Stanford's run to the Final Four.

Appel scored on a short layup with 8:48 remaining in the first half to surpass the 2,000-point milestone and she remains 13 rebounds shy of matching Lisa Leslie's Pac-10 career record.

Jeanette Pohlen added 13 points and five assists for Stanford, which has won 16 straight since losing to top-ranked Connecticut 80-68 on Dec. 23.

The Cardinal can clinch the Pac-10 regular season title outright by winning just one of their final three games. Stanford plays at Arizona State and Arizona next week, then closes out with a road game against California on March 6.

It was Senior Night, though Appel didn't show much emotion until walking to midcourt with her parents as part of a post-game ceremony honoring Stanford's seniors.

"I kind of learned that my freshman year," Appel said. "That was the last year we did (the ceremony) before the game and I was a disaster. So my mindset was 'OK, get through this, then you can have fun.' "

The Cardinal looked like it was having plenty of fun building a 25-point advantage by halftime.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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