Second-ranked Stanford opened its home schedule with what is likely to be its least challenging matchup, overwhelming Pepperdine 99-50 Thursday night at Maples Pavilion. Kayla Pedersen led five Cardinal players in double figures with 22 points, including team-high four 3-pointers. Stanford (3-0) sealed the deal with 31-3 run in the first half and rendered Pepperdine’s press ineffective. The Cardinal were too big and too strong for the Waves (2-1), who are coached by former Stanford assistant Julie Rousseau. A series of transition baskets got the Stanford offense going after a 4 of 12 start.
Jeanette Pohlen, who had three of those transition buckets in the big run, finished with 20 points in 25 minutes for Stanford, with 18 points and nine rebounds from Jayne Appel.
Pepperdine shot 25.3 percent from the field for the game and was 5 of 21 from the 3-point line. Guard Miranda Ayim lead the Waves with 14 points. The Waves’ offensive struggles – coupled with Stanford’s 51-33 advantage on the boards, provided proper cover for the Cardinal’s 21 turnovers.
Stanford played without freshman post Joslyn Tinkle, whose bruised left foot appears to have worsened following the Cardinal’s season-opening trip to the East Coast. Tinkle had an MRI upon the team’s return early in the week and it showed a “hot spot” in the words of coach Tara VanDerveer.
“I don’t know if its a stress reaction or a fracture or a bruise, but it’s not right and we need to give it time to heal,” VanDerveer said, offering no timetable for Tinkle’s recovery, though it could be several weeks before she will be able to return to the court.
Tinkle’s absence didn’t slow Stanford’s post game much, the Cardinal frontcourt of Appel, Nneka Ogwumike and Pedersen combining for 56 points.
Appel acknowledged she is playing her way back into game shape after sitting most of the summer following her offseason knee surgery.
“I’m not where I was at the end of last year,” Appel said. “But I’m building toward that.”
Pepperdine played without guard Katie Menton. The sophomore made the trip with the team, but returned to her home near Fresno after experiencing heart palpitations. Rousseau said she believes Menton, who went home to be examined by her doctor, will rejoin the team soon. Menton played 14 minutes in the Waves’ win over San Jose State on Tuesday.
Rousseau said her team will benefit from the experience of playing one of the nation’s top teams.
“They are so big, they clog up the middle and I thought we started shooting well,” said Rousseau, whose team has been picked to finish third in the West Coast Conference. “We are a pressing team. They did a great job attacking our press and it’s good for us to see how people are going to attack us.”
Pedersen, the junior from Arizona, is thriving on the wing, where she played the second half of last season after Ogwumike moved into the starting lineup.
“I am much more comfortable,” Pedersen said. “It was a tough transition. I know I struggled with it last year. But that experience is helping me now.”
Notes: Point guard JJ Hones scored 10 points in 13 minutes for the Cardinal, seeing limited time with a big Stanford lead.
“She’s not playing if we have a big lead and she knows that,” VanDerveer said….
VanDerveer said she would like to settle on a rotation of eight players – right now those eight look to be Appel, Ogwumike, Pedersen, Pohlen, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, Hones, Melanie Murphy and …. perhaps Michelle Harrison in the absence of Tinkle.