March 23, 2010

Fantastic farewell to Maples

As the elder stateswoman of the Stanford women’s basketball team, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude has led her teammates all season as they made their initial entrance. On March 22, the fifth-year senior guard expanded that role to score a team-high and career-high 26 points in the Cardinal’s 96-67 defeat of Iowa in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Not only that, Ros opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, then went on to electrify the crowd by scoring five more in succession, leading the Cardinal to a 61-34 advantage at the half. She went on to record one more 3 plus two other baskets and a free throw as well as one rebound, five assists, one block and one steal in 33 minutes. When she went to the bench for the last time with about six minutes to go in the game, the near-capacity crowd gave her a roaring ovation to go with a hug from head coach Tara VanDerveer.

Senior center Jayne Appel also played her last Maples game and was loudly cheered after scoring 16 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. The other three starters also scored in double figures – forward Nneka Ogwumike with 23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and one block; forward Kayla Pedersen with 11 points, six rebounds and two assists; and guard Jeanette Pohlen with 11 points, four rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

In addition to Ros’s seven 3’s, Jeanette contributed three and Kayla had one – a total of 11 3-pointers -- in an all-around dominating game that saw all 14 uniformed players in action.

Thus the team enjoyed its second straight season -- 46 home games – with nary a loss at Maples. That means that the four sophomores and two freshmen have never experienced a home loss in their college careers.

Stanford had advanced to this game by defeating UC Riverside 79-47 in the first-round game March 20. In that game, Nneka led Cardinal scoring with 19 points, followed by Jeanette with 16, Kayla with 15, Jayne with 7 and Ros with 5. The team’s 3-pointers came from Jeanette with four, Ros with one and guard Lindy La Rocque with one. Once again, everyone had a chance to play.

With its two wins at Maples, Stanford advances to the Sweet 16 in the Sacramento regional, playing No. 5 seed Georgia on Saturday, March 27, and – assuming a Cardinal victory – the winner of the game between No. 7 seed Gonzaga and No. 3 seed Xavier on Monday, March 29. Booster buses are scheduled for both games. See details elsewhere on this site.

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