By: Joe Lami
Friday night marked the first game of the Pac-12 season for the Stanford Cardinal, and it was one to remember for Chiney Ogwumike. Ogwumike became the all-time Stanford and Pac-12 rebound leader, as she surpassed Kayla Pederson with career rebound 1,267.
The Senior All-American was quite humble afterwards as she said “Records are great headlines, but I’m more excited about Bonnie (Samuelson) going 6 of 9 from three, Amber with eight assists and the contribution of the Freshman.” Samuelson added that it makes things a lot easier when you have the best player in the country on your team, and Ogwumike smirked and rolled her eyes in a joking sort of way.
Even though that there was a major record that was broken on Friday, there was still a game of basketball that was played, and a great one as the Oregon Ducks came into town. Oregon came into the contest with a record of 9-2, with losses to Sacramento State and number one Connecticut. Oregon was riding a seven-game winning streak and was ranked number one in the country in points scored per game, averaging over 105.
Stanford had put a stop to this holding the Ducks to 66 points, in what head coach, Paul Westhead, called “a joke” in the 96-66 Stanford win.
Stanford played all-around great defense, as it was something that Tara VanDerveer praised about all of the game. The key was holding, Chrisae Rowe, a freshman guard averaging nearly 25 points per game to only 11. “They tagged Rowe really well, that’s one of Stanford’s strengths” said Westhead.
The Cardinal were of course led by Ogwumike who scored 33, and had 14 rebounds. Bonnie Samuelson hit a career high 21 points, 18 of them came from beyond the arc, as she was lights out. Production was great for the Cardinal, as all but three players that saw playing time scored. Mikaela Ruef was strong once again, with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Freshman, Karlie Samuelson played 13 minutes, scoring three on a three-pointer and she had one assist that came on a three made by her sister.
Stanford was lights out from beyond the arc as well, as they shot 50%, 12 of 24, “something that I’d take any night” said VanDerveer. The first half was even more impressive, as it seemed like they couldn’t miss going 9 of 16 from downtown. With the three starting to fall for the Cardinal, it relieved pressure off of Ogwumike and allowed her to work inside.
Oregon was held to their lowest scoring total of the season with 66. Leading the way for them was Jillian Alleyne, the second highest scorer on the team going into the night. Alleyne scored 26, and “took the most over her opportunities, as she was open down low, after we guarded the 3-point line” said VanDerveer. Alleyne also finished the double-double adding 13 rebounds. Starters, Ariel Thompson and Rowe both had 11.
The Ducks fall to 9-3, with a 0-1 record in Pac-12 play. Oregon next travels to Berkley, to take on the number 23 ranked Bears Sunday to finish off their first weekend of Pac-12 play. The Bears won their opening game on Friday as well, which should make traveling through the Bay Area a tough trip this season.
“It was a good first game for our team to start off Pac-12 play” said VanDerveer, as the Cardinal improve their record to 12-1 and their conference record to 1-0. The other team from Oregon is up next for Stanford, as the Oregon State Beavers take on the Cardinal on Sunday at Maples. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.