A hoarse Tara VanDerveer, run down and fighting a cold, had just a few words for Stanford: Be more aggressive. Fortunately for the coach's...
STANFORD, Calif. — A hoarse Tara VanDerveer, run down and fighting a cold, had just a few words for Stanford: Be more aggressive.
Fortunately for the coach’s vocal chords, the Cardinal responded.
Candice Wiggins had season highs of 26 points and nine rebounds, and No. 14 Stanford defeated USC 77-56 on Friday night to win its Pac-10 home opener and end an uncharacteristic two-game losing streak.
Brooke Smith added 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Cardinal (7-4, 2-1 Pac-10), which avoided its first three-game skid since January 2001.
“I have said to Candice, ‘You are the leader of our team,’ ” VanDerveer said. “That’s just the way it is. Brooke is, too.”
Wiggins, who had four assists and made four three-pointers, scored Stanford’s first five points of the second half and nine total as the Cardinal began the final 20 minutes with an 11-2 run and held USC without a field goal until the 15:24 mark.
It was an important win for Stanford on the heels of Wednesday’s 77-69 loss at No. 24 Boston College that followed a 77-72 defeat at Washington on Dec. 22.
Camille LeNoir scored 16 points to lead the Women of Troy (8-4, 2-1), who had their three-game winning streak snapped after beginning the conference schedule with a sweep of the Oregon schools last week in Los Angeles.
USC’s leading scorer, Eshaya Murphy, averaging 15.5 points coming in, was held to 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Her three with 9:12 left pulled the Women of Troy within 10, but they couldn’t get closer.
At California 65, UCLA 58
Freshman Devanei Hampton scored 20 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds as the Bears scored their first home win over the Bruins since 2001.
The Bears (10-3, 2-1) never trailed, and held the Bruins to their lowest point total of the year as Nikki Blue, UCLA’s all-American guard, had her second subpar game in a row. After scoring just four points in a 79-64 win over Oregon State Dec. 22, Blue missed her first 12 shots against Cal and didn’t get her first points until 4:36 remained in the game. She finished with eight.
Lisa Willis topped UCLA (7-5, 2-1) with 17 and Noelle Quinn added 11.
Cal, the Pac-10’s best defensive team, set the tone early by holding UCLA scoreless for the first 4:47, and the Bruins went on to make just one of their first nine shots.
Oregon 72, at Colorado 64
Gabrielle Richards and Tamika Nurse combined for 31 points to lift Oregon.
Cicely Oaks added 11 points for the Ducks, who scored the first 10 points and never trailed in winning for the ninth time in 12 games this season.
The first half proved to be decisive. The Oregon defense limited Colorado shooters to 19 percent from the field as the Ducks took a 39-25 lead at the break.
The Ducks extended their advantage to 19 before the Buffaloes went on a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 53-47.
A pair of free throws from Nurse and a basket by Eleanor Haring restored the lead to 10 with about eight minutes left and Oregon was never really threatened from there.
Jasmina Ilic scored 17 points to lead Colorado (5-7).