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Women’s Spotlight: Candice Wiggins
Wiggins is a 5-foot-11 guard who is a Kodak all-American. Last season she was named the Pac-10 Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging 21.7 ppg in three contests.
She captained the USA Jr. National Team during the summer of 2004 and is a candidate for the U.S. Olympic team. Her team took a trip to the East Coast last weekend and opened up the season at Yale with a 100-44 win.
She only played 11 minutes in the rout and had eight points.
The Cardinal then traveled to Rutgers on Saturday for a Sunday contest against the Scarlet Knights on national television. West coast teams have not been on TV a lot in women’s basketball because of the fact that most of the talent has been concentrated with UConn, LSU, Tennessee, Rutgers and Duke and hence those teams have appeared on television most often.
This was an opportunity for Stanford to show what it has before a national television audience. Wiggins was the star of the game leading her team to a 60-58 upset win.
Wiggins scored 19 points and was 9-of-11 from the free throw line including two free throws with :01 seconds remaining to give Stanford the victory. She was fouled by Rutgers sophomore Epiphanny Prince and calmly went to the free throw line and made both of her shots.
Wiggins also added six rebounds and three assists to her total.
She wasn’t sure if the touch by Prince was really a foul but was happy to get to the free throw line. She thrives on pressure and is happiest when the game is on the line.
Stanford will need her abilities throughout the season as they have an ambitious schedule which includes the USA basketball team on Thursday, Connecticut in the Virgin Islands later this month and a home game against Tennessee in December.
California is very strong this year and Stanford will play them at least twice during the season. With Wiggins at the helm Stanford should get a high seed in the NCAA Tournament in March.
It has been a while since Stanford has advanced far in the NCAA Tournament. Last year they were an upset victim at home. Based on their Rutgers performance, Stanford appears to be a different team this season.