for this game

No. 2 Stanford beats UCLA for 11th straight win

Feb 5, 2010 - 6:13 AM By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif.(AP) -- Jayne Appel held her ground and even sent someone to the ground.

Appel had a season-high 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots before being ejected with 7:41 left for throwing an elbow that hit UCLA star Jasmine Dixon in the face, and No. 2 Stanford won its 41st straight home game at Maples Pavilion with a 74-53 victory over UCLA on Thursday night.

Appel insists her action was unintentional - and Dixon and Bruins coach Nikki Caldwell backed her on that.

"Appel was just trying to get the rebound and clear the board," Dixon said. "I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't think she meant anything by it."

The Pac-10 reviewed the flagrant foul late Thursday and announced it would not suspend Appel for Sunday's game against Southern California. A flagrant-foul ejection doesn't immediately disqualify a player for the next game.

Stanford's 24th-year coach Tara VanDerveer said the game became more physical than she likes, and she can't remember one of her players ever being thrown out.

"I was in no way intentionally trying to be flagrant or trying to hit her at all, just playing basketball," Appel said. "It was a heavyweight the whole way."

Stanford's Rosalyn Gold-Onwude was fouled from behind on the next possession after Appel left the game.

Kayla Pedersen pulled down a season-best 15 rebounds and Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 15 points and seven boards for the Cardinal (20-1, 10-0 Pac-10) in their 11th straight victory overall since the team's lone loss at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 23. They beat the Bruins for the seventh time in a row after holding off a late rally for a 65-61 win at UCLA back on Jan. 10.

Dixon scored 16 points to go with nine rebounds to lead the Bruins (14-7, 7-3), who kept things interesting until late but had their four-game winning streak snapped. Dixon went down hard after being hit by Appel and was helped to the bench.

The officials quickly turned to a television review at the scorer's table before sending Appel to the bench for good because of the flagrant foul.

"We had plausible reason to believe the contact was excessive or severe in nature," head official Scott Yarbrough said. "As we reviewed the monitor, we found the contact was excessive. Her elbow caught her in the face."

While neither VanDerveer nor Caldwell saw the entire play, both defended Appel. Caldwell recruited Appel while working at Tennessee.

"I saw lot of arms and people around and Jayne trying to square up," VanDerveer said. "She's got like three people all over her. People are swiping at her. She was trying to hold onto the ball and be aggressive with the ball. She's not a dirty player."

Said Caldwell, "I don't think she's that type of kid who would intentionally try to hurt anybody."

Appel moved past Val Whiting and into second place on Stanford's career rebounding list with 1,140. She is three away from tying Nicole Powell's school record.

Appel scored six points and Gold-Onwude had five during a 16-4 run early in the second half that put the game out of reach. Gold-Onwude finished with 14 points and Jeanette Pohlen had 10 points and eight assists.

The Bruins used an 11-2 run to go ahead 21-20 on Erica Tukiainen's 3-pointer with 7:50 left in the first half. Still, Stanford led 36-32 at the break after trailing at halftime in its games against Arizona State and Arizona last week. But the Cardinal had a scoring drought of 3:07 and went 5 1/2 minutes between field goals.

Appel, an All-America center and the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, didn't practice this week while nursing an infection in her left foot and others also were held out with varying ailments. That had VanDerveer concerned how her Cardinal would respond against the aggressive, scrappy Bruins.

Appel took charge.

"This is old Jayne," VanDerveer said. "I said, 'Go to Jayne,' and she delivered."

UCLA was whistled for three traveling calls in the initial 5 minutes and committed four turnovers in their first nine possessions over the opening 6 minutes - and another travel at the 12:12 mark.

The Bruins haven't beaten Stanford since Jan. 4, 2008, and are winless on the Cardinal's home floor since Jan. 16, 1999.

Stanford, home for a rare second straight weekend during the Pac-10 schedule, shot 43 percent and held a 45-36 rebounding advantage.

Melanie Murphy suited up for Stanford but played only 1 minute after missing the two previous games because of a sore back. VanDerveer had a full squad available for the first time in four games.