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Cal v. Stanford Women's B-Ball Preview

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"This is last year's poster!" via www.womenssportsinformation.com

Perhaps I might be the only person interested in the success of women's basketball this year, I don't know.  But it's not going to stop me from doing a short preview of the game.  Quickly, here is the broadcast information:

 

Sunday, Jan. 18, 3:00 p.m.: No. 9/7 Stanford at No. 11/9 Cal Berkeley, Calif. (Radio: KALX 90.7 fm, TV: Sunday, FSN)

 

Bee Tee Dubz, another nice thing about going to a women's b-ball game is that the tickets are general admission.  And only 10 bucks.  So, for only 10 bucks you can just sit right by the Court.  Although for a big game like this, it would be prudent to get there early.  And maybe buy tickets online ahead of time to avoid the lines.  Buy tickets here.

Let's look at some numbers, shall we?

But before we look at the numbers, lets take a quick look at this preview from, of all places, Sports Illustrated!  The media is waking up to some West Coast b-ball:

When Joanne Boyle took over the Cal program in April '05 and inherited a highly ranked recruiting class, which included 6'1" forward Ashley Walker, now a national player of the year candidate, guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, center Devanei Hampton and forward Shantrell Sneed. Together they've helped transform the program from a Pac-10 afterthought into a championship contender, increasing home attendance to an average of 2,503 fans a game and advancing to the last three NCAA tournaments. But they have yet to win a Pac-10 title, and they haven't had much success against their cross-bay rivals, who have beaten them in 43 of their last 50 games, including six of the last seven—and all three meetings last season.

Cal (13--2, 4--0 in the Pac-10 through Sunday) will have another chance to address that imbalance when it faces the ninth-ranked Cardinal (13--3, 4--0) on Jan. 18 in Berkeley in a clash for the Pac-10 lead that is expected to draw more than 10,000 fans. "It's always great to beat Stanford, but it would be really great to beat them this year because the Pac-10 is so crazy," says Walker. "We all think the [conference] title is going to come down to one game, and we want it. This is the last chance for our class."

Though there is a lot on the line for both teams, their rivalry is informed more by mutual respect than by the hostility that marks, say, a Duke--North Carolina game, or by the insults and pranks that attend the Stanford-Cal football rivalry. (Stanford center Jayne Appel ruefully recalls being blasted awake by the Cal trumpet section at 4 a.m. on the day of the 2006 Big Game.)

Here is Cal's schedule on the year to date:

 

DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
11/14 ALB W 63-39
11/16 UNR W 67-53
11/21 RU W 66-52
11/27 USF W 85-55
11/28 @ TTU W 68-54
11/29 @ IOWA W 76-43
12/06 PRIN W 75-53
12/07 TCU L 82-73
12/12 @ SJSU W 76-40
12/13 @ OKLA L 86-75
12/22 BU POSTPONED
12/29 SMC W 85-44
1/02 @ UA W 56-46
1/04 @ ASU W 54-53
1/08 WSU W 68-45
1/11 UW W 62-34

 

They are currently 13-2 overall and tied with Stanford at 4-0 in the conference.  This is a big game, because it could decide the conference championship.  Stanford has dominated the Pac10 in recent years, but this could be Cal's year. 

Here  are Cal's stats on the year.  First, the overall team stats:

 

TEAM STATISTICS                    CAL          OPP
---------------------------------------------------
SCORING.................. 1049 779
Points per game........ 69.9 51.9
Scoring margin......... +18.0 -
FIELD GOALS-ATT.......... 372-838 289-817
Field goal pct......... .444 .354
3 POINT FG-ATT........... 87-239 78-282
3-point FG pct......... .364 .277
3-pt FG made per game.. 5.8 5.2
FREE THROWS-ATT.......... 218-311 123-178
Free throw pct......... .701 .691
F-Throws made per game. 14.5 8.2
REBOUNDS................. 586 463
Rebounds per game...... 39.1 30.9
Rebounding margin...... +8.2 -
ASSISTS.................. 218 151
Assists per game....... 14.5 10.1
TURNOVERS................ 234 275
Turnovers per game..... 15.6 18.3
Turnover margin........ +2.7 -
Assist/turnover ratio.. 0.9 0.5
STEALS................... 114 93
Steals per game........ 7.6 6.2
BLOCKS................... 26 39
Blocks per game........ 1.7 2.6
WINNING STREAK........... 5 -
Home win streak........ 3 -
ATTENDANCE............... 11933 14146
Home games-Avg/Game.... 8-1492 3-2220
Neutral site-Avg/Game.. - 4-1872

SCORE BY PERIODS: 1st 2nd Total
------------------------------ ---- ---- ----
California.................... 535 514 - 1049
Opponents..................... 350 429 - 779

 

Ok, first thing to note is score by periods.  Cal has only given up 350 points in the first half, but 429 in the second.  This is partially due to blowing teams out and letting up on them in the second half.  However, there have been some unfortunate let downs this year in the second half.  Letting some teams, such as Oklahoma, back into games.

 

I know that Coach Boyle's philosophy, after the NCAA game last year where Cal lost at the last second, has been "Finish."  So, seeing the uptick in points given up in the second half might not show as strong of a "Finish" as one would like. 

 

But that's really the only negative news from these stats.  Just look at them.  18 more points a game.  8 boards.  Almost 3 fewer turnovers.  These numbers all look great, but the key is to compare them against Stanford's numbers, which I do later in this post.

 

 

                                       |---TOTAL---| |---3-PTS---|               |----REBOUNDS----|
## Player GP-GS Min--Avg FG-FGA Pct 3FG-FGA Pct FT-FTA Pct Off Def Tot Avg PF FO A TO Blk Stl Pts Avg
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
44 Walker, Ashley..... 15-15 447 29.8 124-214 .579 7-16 .438 69-86 .802 49 74 123 8.2 35 0 19 32 15 24 324 21.6
21 Gray-Lawson, Alexis 15-15 424 28.3 58-135 .430 13-40 .325 41-54 .759 20 48 68 4.5 32 0 62 35 1 18 170 11.3
02 Vital, Natasha..... 15-15 446 29.7 44-106 .415 23-47 .489 24-35 .686 11 34 45 3.0 25 0 49 43 2 10 135 9.0
15 Morris, Casey...... 15-0 287 19.1 36-75 .480 8-25 .320 26-37 .703 13 29 42 2.8 26 0 28 32 5 14 106 7.1
10 Greif, Lauren...... 15-15 484 32.3 32-77 .416 15-44 .341 22-35 .629 25 71 96 6.4 20 0 31 28 1 23 101 6.7
20 Hampton, Devanei... 12-5 251 20.9 28-88 .318 1-2 .500 21-32 .656 22 36 58 4.8 26 0 7 29 1 16 78 6.5
11 Adrian, Kelsey..... 15-10 392 26.1 28-91 .308 15-55 .273 6-15 .400 17 26 43 2.9 27 1 11 20 0 3 77 5.1
24 Sneed, Shantrell... 14-0 167 11.9 13-27 .481 0-0 .000 5-11 .455 14 21 35 2.5 9 0 6 7 1 3 31 2.2
03 Federico, Rachelle. 12-0 64 5.3 5-17 .294 5-10 .500 4-6 .667 3 5 8 0.7 5 0 2 5 0 2 19 1.6
05 Aguirre, Angelei... 9-0 38 4.2 4-8 .500 0-0 .000 0-0 .000 0 7 7 0.8 4 0 3 0 0 1 8 0.9
TEAM............... 25 36 61 4.1 0 3
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total.............. 15 3000 372-838 .444 87-239 .364 218-311 .701 199 387 586 39.1 209 1 218 234 26 114 1049 69.9
Opponents.......... 15 3000 289-817 .354 78-282 .277 123-178 .691 164 299 463 30.9 294 - 151 275 39 93 779 51.9

 

Slight formatting problem.  Ugh.  Check out numbers here.  Ashley Walker is the main scorer for the team, averaging over 20 points a game.  We are going to need her to have a big game for this one.  The next best is Alexis Gray-Lawson at 11 points, so Ashley Walker is averaging 10 more points per game.  Clearly, she is the crux to our offense.  Walker is also our best rebounder by quite a large margin also.  She's averaging 8 boards a game.  The next best is Devanei Hampton at 4.8.  But Hampton has only played in 12 games, starting 5.  Hampton is returning from a knee injury.

Walker is also our lead blocker with 10 more blocks than the next best person.  With several key parts to the team injured, Walker has stepped up her play.  This is great.  But Cal is going to need more than just Walker playing well to beat Stanford.  Hopefully, Hampton can continue to get acclimated back into the team.  Other key starters include Alexis Grey-Lawson, Natasha Vital, and Lauren Greif.  They have all started all 15 games and average over 20 minutes a game.  Greif averages over 30!  They all faced off against Stanford last year in the game we nearly won at Haas. 

Hopefully, they can actually pull off the victory this year!

 

Stanford

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via graphics.fansonly.com

Ok, so, those are some Cal stats.  Let's take a look at some Stanford numbers.

Here is Stanford's schedule to date:

DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
11/14 MINN W 68-55
11/16 @ BU L 81-65
11/20 UNM W 84-46
11/23 RU W 81-47
11/28 PU W 78-70 OT
11/29 ISU W 83-45
11/30 @ HAW W 83-54
12/13 FSU W 100-62
12/16 @ DUKE L 56-52
12/19 @ USC W 78-47
12/21 @ TENN L 79-69 OT
12/28 UCD W 84-49
1/02 @ ASU W 64-61
1/04 @ UA W 70-61
1/08 UW W 112-35
1/10 WSU W 102-53

 

A few crushing blowouts over the Washington schools might skew their stats a bit there.  As previously mentioned, they are tied 4-0 with Cal in the Pac10. 

 

Let's take a look at Stanford's statistics.  First, team stats:

TEAM STATISTICS                   STAN          OPP
---------------------------------------------------
SCORING.................. 1273 901
Points per game........ 79.6 56.3
Scoring margin......... +23.3 -
FIELD GOALS-ATT.......... 468-1015 317-902
Field goal pct......... .461 .351
3 POINT FG-ATT........... 117-351 83-256
3-point FG pct......... .333 .324
3-pt FG made per game.. 7.3 5.2
FREE THROWS-ATT.......... 220-320 184-275
Free throw pct......... .688 .669
F-Throws made per game. 13.8 11.5
REBOUNDS................. 707 515
Rebounds per game...... 44.2 32.2
Rebounding margin...... +12.0 -
ASSISTS.................. 304 157
Assists per game....... 19.0 9.8
TURNOVERS................ 231 275
Turnovers per game..... 14.4 17.2
Turnover margin........ +2.8 -
Assist/turnover ratio.. 1.3 0.6
STEALS................... 123 100
Steals per game........ 7.7 6.3
BLOCKS................... 84 46
Blocks per game........ 5.3 2.9
WINNING STREAK........... 5 -
Home win streak........ 7 -
ATTENDANCE............... 26378 42463
Home games-Avg/Game.... 7-3768 7-5697
Neutral site-Avg/Game.. - 2-1290

SCORE BY PERIODS: 1st 2nd OT Total
------------------------------ ---- ---- ---- ----
Stanford...................... 608 651 14 - 1273
Opponents..................... 414 471 16 - 901

 

Note that they have both scored more and given up more points.  And they give up more points in the second half, just like Cal.  Their scoring margin and board margin are all better than Cals.  The turnover margin is about the same.  Again, these are all amazing stats.  Amazing numbers.  Stanford has been crushing opponents the same way Cal has.  With a few losses to some other elite teams (like Tennessee) sprinkled in.  So, looking at these stats might not be as helpful without comparing them to Cal's stats.  I do that below. 

But before we get to the Individual Breakdown, let's look at some individual players on Stanford:

 ## SUMMARY              GP-GS   Min   FG%  3PT%   FT%  R/G  A/G STL BLK PTS/G
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
02 Appel, Jayne........ 16-16 25.8 .609 .000 .625 9.6 2.8 14 32 14.4
14 Pedersen, Kayla..... 16-16 27.6 .419 .216 .719 7.1 1.6 13 6 11.2
23 Pohlen, Jeanette.... 16-16 31.3 .395 .402 .762 2.9 3.1 22 8 11.2
10 Hones, JJ........... 2-1 14.0 .700 .750 1.000 1.5 3.0 1 0 10.5
30 Ogwumike, Nnemkadi.. 16-2 19.5 .600 .000 .640 5.9 1.3 9 6 9.9
33 Harmon, Jillian..... 14-14 25.4 .511 .318 .839 4.6 1.8 22 5 9.2
05 Harrison, Michelle.. 13-0 12.7 .442 .333 .583 2.5 1.2 5 6 4.8
42 Boothe, Sarah....... 16-0 10.8 .484 .000 .789 3.2 0.6 1 16 4.7
15 La Rocque, Lindy.... 16-1 11.1 .315 .303 .364 0.8 1.4 5 0 4.4
21 Gold-Onwude, Rosalyn 16-14 20.9 .290 .326 .600 2.4 2.9 19 0 4.0
00 Murphy, Melanie..... 13-0 16.0 .386 .222 .647 1.2 2.5 4 3 3.6
20 Donaghe, Hannah..... 13-0 7.5 .303 .200 .857 1.0 0.5 8 1 2.8
24 Cimino, Ashley...... 6-0 3.8 .800 .000 .750 1.7 0.2 0 1 2.3
01 Mashore, Grace...... 5-0 4.2 .600 .667 .000 0.0 0.2 0 0 1.6
TM Team................ 16-0 0.0 .000 .000 .000 3.6 0.0 0 0 0.0
Total............... 16 .461 .333 .688 44.2 19.0 123 84 79.6
Opponents........... 16 .351 .324 .669 32.2 9.8 100 46 56.3

Jayne Appel, the star center who has been a victim of Cal Band Knitting, is the leading scorer here.  14 points a game.  Less than Ashley Walker by quite a large margin.  But she has over twice as many blocks and averages a rebound more per game than walker.  Keep an eye on Appel.  She is their Ashley Walker.

Jeanette Pohlen plays the most per game.  Shes started all 16 games and averages over 30 minutes a game.  Yet, she only shoots less than 40%, only gets 3 boards and 3 assists per game.  She is tied for team lead for steals, though, at 22, with Jillian Harmon.  And she is second on the team in points scored.  Though that might have more to do with time played than her averages.  She shoots the 3 ball the best of the team.  Basically, what I am saying is although I'm not sure exactly how effective Pohlen is, she is getting every opportunity to be an effective player out there.  If Pohlen is playing well, it could be a long day. 

Another key player for their team is Kayla Pedersen, tied with Pohlen for 2nd best scorer on the team.  Not only does she score well, but she gets a lot of boards.  Watch for her inside.  She shoots the ball better than Pohlen at 42ish%, but not that much better.

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Jayne Appel via grfx.cstv.com

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Kayle Pedersen via grfx.cstv.com

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Jeanette Pohlen via grfx.cstv.com

Disclaimer:  I do not follow Stanford women's basketball as much as some of you might like.  So, if some of these players have had a recent injury that will keep them out of this game, ignore all of what I just wrote!  But thanks for reading it!

Now, let's take their stats and break them down, individually.

INDIVIDUAL BREAKDOWN

Let's compare some of the stats directly:

Field Goals - Overall

Cal

FIELD GOALS-ATT..........      372-838      289-817
Field goal pct......... .444 .354

 

Stanford:

FIELD GOALS-ATT..........     468-1015      317-902
Field goal pct......... .461 .351

 

Advantage Stanford

 

3 Point Field Goals

Cal

3 POINT FG-ATT...........       87-239       78-282
3-point FG pct......... .364 .277
3-pt FG made per game.. 5.8 5.2

 

Stanford

3 POINT FG-ATT...........      117-351       83-256
3-point FG pct......... .333 .324
3-pt FG made per game.. 7.3 5.2

Advantage Cal

 

Free Throws

Cal

FREE THROWS-ATT..........      218-311      123-178
Free throw pct......... .701 .691
F-Throws made per game. 14.5 8.2

Stanford

FREE THROWS-ATT..........      220-320      184-275
Free throw pct......... .688 .669
F-Throws made per game. 13.8 11.5

Advantage Cal

 

Rebounds

Cal

REBOUNDS.................          586          463
Rebounds per game...... 39.1 30.9
Rebounding margin...... +8.2 -

Stanford

REBOUNDS.................          707          515
Rebounds per game...... 44.2 32.2
Rebounding margin...... +12.0 -

 

Advantage Stanford

 

Assists

Cal

ASSISTS..................          218          151
Assists per game....... 14.5 10.1

Stanford

ASSISTS..................          304          157
Assists per game....... 19.0 9.8

 

Advantage Stanford

 

Turnovers

Cal

TURNOVERS................          234          275
Turnovers per game..... 15.6 18.3
Turnover margin........ +2.7 -
Assist/turnover ratio.. 0.9 0.5

Stanford

TURNOVERS................          231          275
Turnovers per game..... 14.4 17.2
Turnover margin........ +2.8 -
Assist/turnover ratio.. 1.3 0.6

 

This one is close, but lets give it to Stanford to be charitable.

 

Steals

Cal

STEALS...................          114           93
Steals per game........ 7.6 6.2

Stanford

STEALS...................          123          100
Steals per game........ 7.7 6.3

 

Push!

 

Blocks

Cal

BLOCKS...................           26           39
Blocks per game........ 1.7 2.6

Stanford

BLOCKS...................           84           46
Blocks per game........ 5.3 2.9

 

Damn, Stanford has this one, look at that number!

 

 

Final Thoughts:

So, looking all these numbers overall, it is going to be a TOUGH game.  Stanford definitely has the advantage statistically in some situations. 

In Walker and Appel, both teams have key leaders who are performing head and shoulders better than anybody else on the team.  The clear defensive impetus for each team is to stop that player, be it Walker or Appel.  I feel that Cal has the better supporting cast with more depth, but perhaps that is just because I am looking at everything from blue and gold colored glasses.  So, if Walker and Appel are equally as neutralized, then I think it can favor Cal.  But certainly if Walker is neutralized and Appel is not, it could be a looooooooong afternoon.

We were just a few points from knocking off Stanford at home last year.  And we lost nobody from that team.  I believe that Cal can do that.  Will they do it?

You'll have to tune in this Sunday to find out!  Go Bears!