Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen have a long list of streaks going in their final season at Stanford.
Three straight Final Four berths they hope to soon turn into a fourth. A 23-game winning streak since a pair of December defeats at DePaul and Tennessee – including a thrilling 71-59 triumph over Connecticut on Dec. 30 that ended the Huskies’ record 90-game winning streak. Pacific-10 Conference regular-season and tournament titles each year, and 57 consecutive victories against conference opponents.
The one remarkable run they can wrap up with two more NCAA wins: a perfect record on their home floor in Maples Pavilion for their four-year careers.
There is much bigger unfinished business for this bunch, too. The Cardinal hasn’t won it all since 1992 after near-misses in two of the past three NCAA finals.
Winning two more at home is the first step. Stanford is riding a school-record winning streak of 61 in a row at Maples – and extending that run to 63 straight victories would send seniors Pedersen and Pohlen out in style having never lost in front of their supportive home crowd.
“Not many people can say they’ve done that,” junior leading scorer Nnemkadi Ogwumike said of not losing at home. “That’s pretty special. It’s kind of like their senior night wasn’t their senior night.”
Stanford (29-2), the top seed in the Spokane Region, will host Big West champion and NCAA first-timer UC Davis on Saturday in the first round. The Aggies (24-8) are the 16th seed.
A Stanford victory would set up a second-round date Monday night in Maples against the winner of Saturday’s first game between eighth-seeded Texas Tech and ninth-seeded St. John’s.
While Pohlen is always cautious not to get ahead of herself, finishing up unbeaten on campus would be a special feat and a strong beginning to what she hopes ends with that elusive championship in Indianapolis on April 5.
“I think that would be amazing if we didn’t lose here on our home floor,” said Pohlen, the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Two days after LSU’s streak of 12 consecutive NCAA women’s tournament appearances came to an end, coach Van Chancellor stepped down and became a special assistant to athletic director Joe Alleva. High Point coach Tooey Loy resigned, effective immediately. Loy was 163-135 in 10 seasons at High Point, including 88-56 in the Big South.