Explosive Stanford hoping to solve stingy Aggies

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Explosive Stanford hoping to solve stingy Aggies

April 2, 2011

NCAA SCOREBOARDSTANFORD PAGE

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen have run through nearly every emotion possible this week - even before their Final Four game.

The two Stanford seniors were relieved just to reach Indianapolis. They are determined not to leave this Final Four empty-handed. And they are eager to get back to work Sunday against Texas A&M.

Somehow, they've even found a way to - get this - relax heading into their final weekend as college teammates.

"I'm just trying to enjoy every moment, trying to have fun," Pedersen said Saturday. "Whatever happens, happens, just as long as all of us lay it all out there for each other."

The semifinal shapes up as a clash of styles.

The Cardinal (33-2) have four scorers averaging in double figures and score 79.8 points per game as a team, but Texas A&M has a shutdown defense and Stanford isn't playing at Maples Pavilion where it has won 63 straight.
RELATED: Experience key for Stanford

Texas A&M (31-5) is only the second team in tourney history to limit four consecutive opponents to 50 points or fewer, and six of the last eight Aggies opponents have failed to top 50 points.

All-American forward Danielle Adams and teammates Sydney Carter and Sydney Colson cracked jokes during their media availability, and coach Gary Blair even brought out a step ladder and measuring tape at the end of the 1-hour practice - stealing a scene from the movie "Hoosiers," which was filmed six miles away at Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse.
RELATED: Texas A&M loaded with offensive weapons

Texas A&M also added some down home language to the discussion

"We say howdy," coach Gary Blair said in his opening comments Saturday. "You're supposed to say howdy back. Most of y'all are just getting up, I understand."

On the court, there's no Southern hospitality.

Blair, who made the Final Four in 1998 with Arkansas, is back with the same game plan that shocked top-seeded Baylor on Tuesday. The Aggies will pressure Stanford's guards for 40 minutes, hoping to score off turnovers, and use the versatility of Adams to put additional pressure on the Cardinal defense.

It was good enough to get the Aggies within a game of playing for their first national title in their first trip to the semifinals.

"I think we'll be pretty successful making them uncomfortable, making them run something they don't really want to run because it's just the style of defense we play," Carter said.

Stanford understands.

The Cardinal have spent all week devising a plan to beat the Aggies pressure, while trying to answer questions about the self-inflicted pressure they've felt since blowing a 20-12 halftime lead against UConn in last year's title game.

They got some measure of revenge in December's rematch, a 71-59 victory that ended Connecticut's record-setting 90-game winning streak. But they have more in mind than just a regular-season win over the Huskies, who play Notre Dame in Sunday's second game.

Rewind: Stanford rolls 'Zags to advance to Final Four

The good news is that they're used to playing on the big stage.

"Whether it's interviews, all the different things that you've done, there's a certain routine and you don't feel as, maybe, just stressed about things," coach Tara VanDerveer said. "It you're five minutes late, maybe the first year you were worried."

So the only real concern for Stanford is whether the seniors can finish the job.

"We're just very focused. Maybe a little more relaxed," said Pohlen, the Pac-10 player of the year. "Kayla and I have talked about it's such a privilege to be here, and we're very grateful to have been able to make it this far for four years. But we definitely haven't got the job done, so we're very focused."

Over the past four seasons, the dynamic duo has done just about everything from setting school records for games played (149 and counting) to all-league and national honors to the run of four straight of Final Fours.

But there's one glaring omission: No national championships.

Instead, the Cardinal settled for second two of the last three years, losing to Tennessee in the 2008 title game and Connecticut last year and now they're back on a clear-cut mission - winning the school's first title since 1992.

"Any time you come to three or four Final Fours and you've not achieved the prize, it humbles you," said freshman Chiney Ogwumike, who went to the previous two to watch her older sister, Nnemakdi. "We came here to win a national championship."

Giants place Eduardo Nunez on 10-day DL

Giants place Eduardo Nunez on 10-day DL

The injury bug continues to hit Eduardo Nunez.

Bruce Bochy announced 90 minutes before the Giants' game Friday night that Nunez has been placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to June 20 for an ailing hamstring injury. 

In a corresponding move, the Giants activated Conor Gillaspie from Triple-A Sacramento.

Nunez exited early on June 15 in Colorado. He beat out an infield single, but had trouble stopping after reaching base and signaled for trainer Dave Groeschner. 

On June 19 Nunez returned to the lineup, but has not played since. 

Throughout the season Nunez has battled hamstring issues. When healthy, he's been consistent at the plate while playing multiple positions. 

Nunez is batting .299 with 17 doubles and has stolen 17 bases in 64 games played this season. 

Sharks select center Josh Norris No. 19 in 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Sharks select center Josh Norris No. 19 in 2017 NHL Entry Draft

CHICAGO – The Sharks used their first round draft selection on Friday night to select Josh Norris, a center from Michigan.
 
San Jose stayed in the 19th position in the first round, where it was originally slotted, to take Norris. The six-foot, 189-pounder posted 61 points (27g, 34a) in 61 games with the U.S. National Under-18 team last season, and added 26 points (12g, 14a) in 25 games in the USHL. He has committed to the University of Michigan for the 2017-18 season.
 
Norris became the Sharks’ first North American-born first round pick since Charlie Coyle in 2010. Their previous four first round selections were born in Europe.
 
Norris’ father, Dwayne, was drafted 127th overall by Quebec in 1990 and played in 20 games with the club from 1990-93.
 
Just before making the pick, general manager Doug Wilson had a quick chat with Washington general manager Brian MacLellan, but nothing apparently came of it.
 
The Sharks had never selected a player 19th overall in their history. Notable players around the league selected in that spot include Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay, 2012), Oscar Klefbom (Edmonton, 2011), Nick Bjugstad (Florida, 2010), Chris Kreider (Rangers, 2009), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim, 2003) and Keith Tkachuk (Winnipeg, 1990).
 
The Sharks have seven more selections on Saturday when the draft resumes at 7 a.m. PT, including the 49th overall pick in the second round, acquired from New Jersey as part of the Mirco Mueller trade earlier in the week. They also own one fourth round pick, two in the sixth round, and three in the seventh round.
 
Swiss native Nico Hischier went first overall to the New Jersey Devils, while the Philadelphia Flyers selected Nolan Patrick second.
 
Recent Sharks first round draft picks
 
2016 – None
2015 – Timo Meier (9th overall)
2014 – Nikolay Goldobin (27th overall)
2013 – Mirco Mueller (18th overall)
2012 – Tomas Hertl (17th overall)
2011 – None 
2010 – Charlie Coyle (28th overall)
2009 – None
2008 – None
2007 – Logan Couture (9th overall), Nick Petrecki (28th overall)