Mixed emotions abounded Feb. 20 when the Stanford women’s basketball team celebrated Senior Night by defeating Oregon State 82-48, thereby clinching at least a share of the Pac-10 season title. With one more win, the Cardinal will stand alone in first place.
Nevertheless, Pac-10 standings took a back seat to the opportunity to honor the four members of the class of 2010 plus fifth-year senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude. Stanford recognized Oregon State’s seniors just before the game when head coach Tara VanDerveer presented each of them with a bouquet. Stanford’s five honorees received their bouquets after the game.
In the 40 minutes of playing time that separated those two presentations, the Cardinal women put on another display of offensive and defensive prowess. Fittingly, senior center Jayne Appel scored the game’s first points with a basket just 15 seconds into the game. About 11 minutes later, with 8:48 remaining in the first half, Jayne scored her 2,000th career point, vaulting herself into Stanford’s exclusive 2,000-point/1,000-rebound club. Its only other members are Val Whiting, ’93, and Nicole Powell, ’04. Jayne finished the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and five blocks.
All of her classmates got on the scoreboard, too, with Ros scoring 8 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Guard Melanie Murphy added 3 points. Guard JJ Hones had 2 points and one assist, while forward Michelle Harrison posted 5 points and one steal. Near the end of the second half, all five seniors were on the court – much to the delight of their fans and teammates.
After the game, the crowd was treated to a moving video honoring the five seniors. Then they were honored in person, starting with Ros, who was escorted by Rich and Nancy Lobell, whom she considers her California parents. Her own parents, Austin Onwude and Pat Gold, were unable to make the trip from Queens, NY.
Next came her fellow New Yorker (Brooklyn), Mel, who was with her mother, Rochelle Murphy. JJ was with her parents, Susan and Dan Hones, along with her younger sister and aunt. Michelle’s mother, Judi Harrison, and two sisters accompanied her. Jayne’s entourage included her parents, Joe and Pam Appel, and two of her three brothers.
All five players thanked the fans for their support. “Thank you so much for being such encouraging fans,” Ros said. After playing in all of the conference venues, Jayne had no hesitation in saying, “We have the best crowd in the Pac-10.” Michelle talked about her feelings when she was being recruited for Stanford. “There was something bigger than me waiting for me here,” she said.
Associate head coach Amy Tucker enumerated some of that something bigger for the standing-room-only crowd that packed Dallmar Court for the Fast Break Club celebration after the game – four Pac-10 season championships, three Pac-10 tournament championships (and counting) two Elite Eights (and counting), and two Final Fours (and counting). The seniors’ win-loss record, starting with the 2006-07 season, is 122-15, or about 89 percent of their games – and still counting.
Fan Otis Watson later pointed out that this class also has one Final Two on its resume. “This has been a very, very special class for Stanford basketball,” Amy said.
(Continued in Part 2)