CWBKB: No. 2 Stanford beats No. 2 Tennessee 67-52
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
STANFORD, Calif. ó Kayla Pedersen had 16 points and eight rebounds and No. 2 Stanford beat third-ranked Tennessee 67-52 Saturday for its 35th straight win at Maples Pavilion in a matchup of unbeaten national powerhouses.
Jayne Appel added 10 points, 14 boards, three assists and three blocks and Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored all 14 of her points in the second half to go with 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (9-0), who held a 44-34 advantage on the boards but shot just 39.3 percent and had to hold off a late run.
Angie Bjorklund scored 15 points and Glory Johnson 13 for the Lady Vols (9-1) on a day when leading scorer Shekinna Stricklen was held to eight on 4 of 12 shooting. Tennessee managed only four assists.
Let the hype begin for Stanfordís showdown with No. 1 Connecticut on Wednesday night in Hartford in one of the most highly anticipated games of the regular season.
This was the biggest test so far for both schools and each was slow getting going offensively after the 11:30 a.m. tipoff. It was the first time in 10 meetings Tennessee came to Stanford ranked lower than the Cardinal.
Pedersen converted a key putback midway through the second half and a 3-pointer with 8:01 to play that helped spark her team. She also knocked a jumper with 4:42 to go, thrilling the near-sellout crowd of 6,809.
But the Lady Vols werenít done, using an 11-4 run to get back within 60-49 late.
The game featured scalpers outside the arena and WNBA star Lisa Leslie doing color for the television broadcast.
Stanford was challenged to establish an inside game with 6-foot-6 Kelley Cain clogging the middle and making things tough on the 6-4 Appel, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Johnson converted a three-point play after drawing Appelís third foul with 13:46 remaining and Appel went to the bench. Pat Summitt immediately sent 6-foot-6 Kelley Cain in, but she quickly got whistled for her third foul and came right back out of the game.
After Johnsonís play, Stanford answered with a 7-0 spurt and forced Tennessee into back-to-back turnovers.
The Cardinal were stronger in many areas four days after beating seventh-ranked Duke 71-55.
After falling behind 9-4, Stanford used an 18-4 run to gain momentum that carried the Cardinal the rest of the way. Both teams had scoreless stretches of more than 5 minutes in the first half.
Stanford got a big boost late in the first half from Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, who hit consecutive 3s followed by a driving layup. Pedersen then drew a charge on Stricklen on the other end and the Cardinal took a 30-18 lead at the break. They led by 18 in the second half.
Tennessee matched its sixth-lowest halftime total, also done against Stanford in the NCAA tournamentís regional finals in 2004. The Lady Vols won that game 62-60.