Cardinal Season Comes to an End, Losses to Connecticut in National Semi-Finals

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal played their final game of the 2013-2014 season on Sunday night after they were defeated by Connecticut 75-56 in Nashville.  The Cardinal were seeking their third National Championship in school history and their first one since 1992, however they fell short in their sixth trip to the final four in the past seven years.  Sunday also marks the third time in four years that the Cardinal have fallen in the National Semi-Final.

The Cardinal controlled much of the first half.  The Huskies got on the board first with buckets from Bria Hartley and Moriah Jefferson to go up 4-0.  Chiney Ogwumike got on the board first for the Cardinal with a jumper of her own.  Connecticut would get the lead back up to four, until Stanford went on a 7-0 run to give them their first lead of the evening with 16:09 remaining in the half.  The Cardinal held the lead for 12 minutes until Stephanie Dolson tied it up at 22 with four minutes remaining.  The 12 minutes marked the longest stretch of time this season that Connecticut had trailed.  Stanford pushed their largest lead to six, marking the second highest lead a team had on Connecticut all season.  The Huskies continued their run, extending it to 14-0 before Stanford was able to answer with a bucket of their own.  UConn went into the half with a 28-24 lead.

Stanford fell apart in the second half, as Connecticut started the second half with a 5:46 16-3 run.  The three points came from a rare three-pointer from Ogwumike.  The run would be give enough of a lead for UConn to ride out the win.  The Cardinal wouldn’t be able to fight their way back.

Amber Orrange led the way for the Cardinal with 16 points, she also added five assists in the losing effort.  Ogwumike wrapped up her Stanford career with her 25th double double of the season, as the expected 1st overall pick in the upcoming WNBA Draft finished the game with 15 points and ten rebounds.  Lili Thompson wrapped up the double figure Cardinal scorers with 12 points, eight of which came in the first half.

The Huskies saw all five of their starters get into double figures.  Player of the Year nominee, Brianna Stewart led the way with 18 points.  Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis contributed 15 points, all of which came in the second half.  Hartley shot four of 12 from the field to finish with 14 points.  Both Jefferson and Dolson finished the game with ten points each to cap off the double digits scorers.  Kiah Stokes also came off of the bench to add nine points in 22 minutes played, as the Huskies used only six players in 39-minutes of the game.  In the last minute, substitutes Saniya Chong, Tierney Lawlor, Briana Pulido and Brianna Banks replaced the starting five.

Connecticut remains undefeated at 39-0 and advance to their school’s ninth National Championship.  Next up for the Huskies is another undefeated team in Notre Dame (37-0), who beat Maryland 81-67 in the other National Semi-Final game.  Tuesday will mark the first time ever, where two undefeated teams will battle it out for the National Title.  Connecticut also joins their men’s team in the National Championship, as the men’s team will be going up against Kentucky for the men’s title.  Both Connecticut team’s won the title in 2004, and have a chance to do it again just ten years later.  They remain the only school to accomplish the feat.

Stanford finishes their season with a record of 30-4 and some uncertainty in next season, as it will be the first one since 2008 where an Ogwumike will not be on the team.

 

Cardinal Keep Dancing, Advance to Regional Final with Win Over Penn State

Photo Credit: gostanford.com
Photo Credit: gostanford.com

By: Joe Lami

STANFORD, Calif.–The Stanford Cardinal returned to Maples Pavilion, a regional host site for this year’s NCAA Tournament, on Sunday where they took on the Penn State Lady Lions in the regional semi-final.  The Cardinal defeated the Lady Lions by the final score of 82-57.

The first half was neck and neck until about half way through.  The Lady Lions went on a 7-0 run to get ahead of the Cardinal 23-19.  The Cardinal were able to comeback with a 14-0 run of their own spanning a 5:12.  The run would end when Ariel Edwards would hit a pair of free throws.  Stanford would get five more points until the Lady Lions would be able to hit a field goal, as Edwards would nail a jumper with 2:47 remaining in the first half.  Penn State was unable to hit a field goal for 6:48 which gave Stanford a big advantage, as their lead would be 38-27.  The scoring drought would begin again until Edwards would be able to get a bucket and a foul with 13 seconds remaining in the half.  Stanford went into the halftime break with a 44-30 lead.

After much control of the first half, the second half went fairly easy for the Cardinal, as then only surrendered 27 points to cruise to victory.  The final minutes for the Cardinal allowed players that wouldn’t normally see minutes in the NCAA Tournament, as Briana Roberson, Jasmine Camp, Erica Payne and Erica McCall were able to jump in the game.

“Today was an ideal day for Stanford basketball” praised Chiney Ogwumike after the game.

Ogwumike led the way for the Cardinal once again, as she finished with 29 points.  She also added 15 rebounds to get her 25th double double of the season, and ups her career total to 83.  Amber Orrange was second in scoring for Stanford with 18 points.  Lili Thompson and Mikaela Ruef both finished the game with 11 points.  Ruef also added 13 rebounds to achieve the double double.

Edwards led the way for the Lady Lions, as she finished with 22 points.  Dara Taylor and Talia East were the other Penn St. players to get into double figures, contributing 11 and ten respectively.

The major factor in the Stanford win was allowing Maggie Lucas to only score six points.  Lucas, the Big Ten player of the year, was averaging 21.5 points per game coming into the contest.  This was only the second time this season where Lucas was held under ten points.  The last time occurred when the Lady Lions lost to Notre Dame at home on December 4.  Thompson was assigned to defend against Lucas, and she was a major factor.  “She was forced to take tough shots all night” claimed Penn State Head Coach, Coquese Washington.  Thompson later added that the key to shutting Lucas down was to limit her touches.

The Cardinal will continue their run on Tuesday with hopes of advancing to the Final Four, as they will take on North Carolina, who defeated South Carolina 65-58 in the other regional semi-final.

Sweet Sixteen Bound Cardinal Punches Ticket to Regionals With Win Over Florida State

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal will be returning to Maples Pavilion next weekend as they will be continue on to the Sweet Sixteen, after a victory over the Florida State Seminoles on Monday afternoon.  The second-seeded Cardinal defeated the tenth-seeded Seminoles 63-44 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Seminoles grabbed an early seven-point lead, as they went on a 7-0 run to start the game in the first 1:52.  It wasn’t until the 18:08 mark where Amber Orrange was able to get things started for Stanford with a field goal.  The largest lead for Florida State was stretched to eight points at the 12:31 mark, when the Seminoles had the 14-6 lead.  However, this is when the Cardinal were able to turn the game around, as Stanford went on a 26-2 run, including a 13-minute scoring drought for Florida State to end the half.  Stanford went into halftime with a 32-16 lead.

Stanford would also control the second half as well, outscoring the Seminoles by three points to complete the victory.

All-time Pac-12 leading scorer, Chiney Ogwumike, led things for the Cardinal as she finished the game 8 of 11 from the field for 21 points.  She ended the game just one rebound shy of the double double.  Lili Thompson had another outstanding performance, as she contributed 14 points in the win, including a perfect 4 for 4 from the charity strike.  Bonnie Samuelson completed the list of players that got into double figures, as she came off the bench to score 11, with nine points coming from beyond the arc.

Florida State was able to achieve something that few teams have been able to do against Stanford this season, and that is to out-rebound the Cardinal.  The Seminoles won the rebound battle  35-32 with 12 of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.  Natasha Howard, Brittany Brown and Kai James all finished the game with seven rebounds for FSU.  Howard was also the Noles leading scorer, as she finished the game with nine points.

The Cardinal will be returning to the Sweet Sixteen for the seventh time in a row, and now they will be coming back to their home floor for possibly the next two games.  Up next for the Cardinal will be the winner of Penn State and Florida, before what is expected to be an Elite Eight matchup with the number one seed in the region, South Carolina.

One Down, Five to Go, Stanford Defeats South Dakota in the Opening Round of the NCAA Tournament

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal started what they are hoping to be a long NCAA Tournament run on Saturday afternoon with a win.  They defeated the South Dakota Coyotes by the final score of 81-62.  The Cardinal were given a number two seed after they were defeated by USC in the semi-finals of the Pac-12 tournament.  Their opponent, South Dakota, earned the 15-seed after they won the Summit Conference Tournament.  The Coyotes also had a record of 19-14 coming into the contest.

South Dakota held the game close for the first seven minutes of the game, and actually held a two point lead at the 17:56 mark, but at the 13-minute the Cardinal gained the lead and they kept it for the rest of the game.  The Cardinal led the game 42-27 going into the halftime break.  They then outscored the Coyotes 39-35 in the second half to earn the 81-62 victory.

It was a huge day for Senior star Chiney Ogwumike, as she became the all-time Pac-12 leading scorer in the contest.  She only need one-point to gain the feat, as she finished the last contest tied with Candice Wiggins.  Ogwumike finished the game with 22 points, and eight rebounds in the 35 minutes played.  She led all scorers in the effort.

Bonnie Samuelson came off of the bench to tie her career high, as the Junior Guard sunk six of ten shots from beyond the arc to net 18 points.  Lili Thompson scored 11 points and brought down six rebounds in her first NCAA Tournament contest.  She also went 50% from three-point land, as she went three of six from beyond the arc.  Amber Orrange was the other Stanford player to get into double digits in scoring, as she finished the game with ten points.

South Dakota had a bright spot in the loss, as Nicole Seekamp finished the game with 22 points, shooting 9 of 13 from the field.  She also finished the game with five rebounds.

Stanford only has one more team in front of them before they can return to their home court, Maples Pavilion, as part of Regionals.  The tenth seed Florida State Seminoles will be the Cardinal’s next opponent, as they defeated Iowa State on their home floor earlier Saturday 55-44.  The Round of 32 contest is set for Monday at 3:30 PST.

Ogwumike Shines in Final Game, Cardinal Beat Cougars to Finish Undefeated at Home

By: Joe Lami

Chiney Ogwumike enjoyed her final regular season game at Maples Pavilion.  As she led her team to victory over the Washington State Cougars by the final score of 84-64.  Ogwumike finished her Cardinal career with a new career high 37 points, 21 of them came in the first half.  Ogwumike also added 13 rebounds to achieve her 22nd double-double of the season.  She also achieved her 30th double figure scoring game of the year and later achieved her 13th 30-point game of the season.  She stated after the game “I really don’t care about points and statistics, all I care is that I do enough for us to win, even if I only score two points.”   She later added on her feelings of Saturday’s game “It just felt like another game.  I just care that we won, and that we are playing better basketball going into the post season.  We are growing as a team and that’s what matters.”

The Cardinal started the first half strong, getting the first five points of the game and forcing Washington State to call an early timeout.  Stanford led the entire first half, but did have struggles shooting from beyond the arc.  Stanford went 3 for 13 from three-point range in the first half with Bonnie Samuelson knocking two of them down.  Brianna Roberson drained the other.

Roberson, a freshman, had her most impressive half of her young Cardinal career.  She finished the first half with eight points, a new career high.  Roberson also added a rebound and an assist in the seven minutes that she played.  She finished the game with eight points, as she didn’t see much playing time in the second half.

The Cardinal shot the lights out from the free throw line, as they finished the first half going 14 of 15, for a 93%.

Stanford came out of the second half strong, as they went on a 10-0 run to start things up in the first 4:47.  The Cardinal defense came to play in the second half only allowing 23 points, forcing the Cougars to shoot a dreaded 28%.

Even though the Cardinal held Washington State to 64 points, three different Cougars got into double figures.  They were led by Lia Galdeira, who finished with 16 points.  Both Tia Presley and Sage Romberg finished the game with ten points each.

Amber Orrange went under the radar once again, but had one of her best performances of the year.  The Junior Point Guard finished just two points shy of her career high, scoring 20 points.  She also finished the game with eight rebounds.  “This was one of Amber’s best nights she’s ever had for us” stated head coach, Tara VanDerveer.  VanDerveer also pulled Orrange aside and congratulated her on a great performance.  The key to Orrange’s night “I was being a lot more aggressive.”

The Cardinal finish the year undefeated at home going into the Pac-12 tournament next week.  They will be ranked the first seed and will get a first round bye, and will play their first game on Friday, March 7.

Stanford Remains Unbeaten at Home

By Joe Lami

Stanford (24-2,13-1) returned to action just two days after one of their most impressive performances of the season, defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 61-35.  On Sunday, the sixth ranked Cardinal played host to the struggling Arizona Wildcats (5-20, 1-13).  Stanford defeated Arizona 74-48.

Arizona was coming into the contest with just five wins on the season, with a record of 5-19.  Only one of those wins has come in Pac-12 play.  The Wildcats started the game strong as they got the first bucket of the afternoon.  They would be able to keep up with the Cardinal for the first 5:30 of the game.  The game was tied at 11-11 before the Cardinal would take over.  Stanford would go on a ten minute 24-4 run before Arizona would hit their next field goal.  Arizona was only able to mustard up another field goal and two free throws to end the half.  Stanford was on top at the half by the score of 48-19.

Stanford would cruise to victory in the second half.  Arizona outscored the Cardinal in the second half 29-26.  However, Stanford played their reserves for most of the second half.  Chiney Ogwumike, who plays as much time as possible, only saw 22 minutes in the win, being her season low on minutes played this season.  The starter who saw the most minutes played was Amber Orrange, and she capped out at 24 minutes.

Bonnie Samuelson led the Cardinal in scoring with 17 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc.  Ogwumike finished with 15 points.  Lili Thompson and Orrange both had nine points in the game.  Orrange also had an astonishing nine assists.

Only six Wildcats played for Arizona.  Candice Warthen, Kama Griffitts and Keyahndra Cannon all played 40 minutes.  LaBrittney Jones led the team in scoring with 11 points.  She was the only Wildcat to get into double digits in scoring.

The Cardinal will finish off the road portion of their schedule next weekend as they travel to Los Angeles to take on USC on Friday and UCLA on Sunday.

Stanford Shuts Down Sun Devils

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal (23-2,12-1) returned to Maples Pavilion on Friday night, just five days after their disappointing loss in Seattle, to Washington on Sunday.  The Cardinal made up for it with a dominating performance over the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-5,9-4) with a 61-34 victory.

The Cardinal held the Sun Devils to one of the lowest scoring totals in Pac-12 history, with Arizona escaping that mark by one point.  The Cardinal’s impressive defense started early, as they held Arizona State to without a field goal until eight minutes into the first half.  This gave Stanford 14-3 lead, following a field goal and a free throw. “They had great defensive energy early, we never got into the flow of the game” said ASU head coach Charli Turner Thorne.

The dominance continued as Stanford went into halftime leading the Sun Devils 32-12.  This is the 2nd time in Pac-12 history that Stanford has held an opponent to the least amount of points scored in a first half.  Arizona State shot 17% from the field in the first half, and it didn’t get much better from the charity strike, as they went two of seven from the line.

The second half wasn’t much better for the Sun Devils, as they continued to struggle shooting 30% from the field for a total game percentage of 24%.  The Sun Devils also finished the game shooting 8% from beyond the arc, as they only hit one shot in the 12 shots attempted.  It was an overall great defensive performance for the Cardinal, especially coming off of only their second loss of the season.  “We haven’t been this excited to play defense in a long time, and I’m excited that we are again” said star Chiney Ogwumike.

The Stanford defense kept the Sun Devil players from getting into double digits, as both Promise Amukamara and Sophie Brunner led Arizona State in scoring with nine points.  The leading scorer for the Sun Devils in the first meeting between these two top 15 opponents, Quinn Dornstauder, was held to only six points.

The offense was no slouch either for the Cardinal, as they had an impressive game on that side of the ball as well.  Stanford finished the game shooting 54% from the field.  Ogwumike led all scorers with 20 points in only 27 minutes of playing time, as she sat on the bench for the final 13 minutes of the game.  The player of the year candidate also finished with 13 rebounds, all of which came in the first half.  Amber Orrange had another amazing performance, as she finished the game with 14 points, five steals, three rebounds and three assists. “Amber took it upon herself to be the engine of the train” praised head coach, Tara VanDerveer, on Orrange’s performance.

The minutes were passed around equally for one of the first times this season, as 14 different players got into the game.  Out of those 14 players that saw time, ten of them got onto the scoring sheet.

With Friday’s game being one of the best performances of the season, there was still some criticism that came out of it.  One of which was the fact that Stanford had 17 turnovers.  “We have to play better, we have to take care of the ball better” commented VanDerveer.  Another problem that has been reoccurring all season is that Stanford has been giving up way too many offensive rebounds.  That trend would continue on Friday, as Arizona State had 12 offensive boards.   Of the 12 offensive rebounds, Arizona State was able to have eight second-chance points off of them.

Both teams struggled from beyond the arc, Arizona State more so than Stanford.  The Sun Devils shots one of 12 from three.   Stanford finished scoreless, but only had four attempts.  The three-pointer was not in the game plan mentioned VanDerveer after the game.

Stanford bounced back great, as they up their record to 23-2, 12-1.  Thus almost clinching the Pac-12 regular season title.  As long as they don’t fall off of the wagon, they will get the title.  Stanford looks to make it once step closer towards the regular season title, as they host the Wildcats of Arizona.

Ogwumike Makes History in Stanford Win

Stanford players celebrate after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Stanford players celebrate after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Stanford players celebrate after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Stanford players celebrate after a score during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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.

Stanford Upsets Tennessee in a Tight One

stanford womens bb

By: Joe Lami

Saturday marked the second time that two top ten teams matched up against each other this week, as number one Connecticut defeated number two Duke earlier in the week.  On Saturday it would be number six Stanford defeating number three Tennessee 76-70.

“It was a great environment” losing coach, Holly Warlick stated, as 6,044 were on to see two great rivals match-up once again.

Tennessee started the game on a 4-0 run with buckets from Isabelle Harrison and Bashaaara Graves.  Stanford would answer back with a run of their own, scoring 13 straight, eight of which came from Chiney Ogwumike.  The other five points from freshman, Lili Thompson.

“We dug ourselves a big hole early, and it was tough to get out of” said a Warlick after the game.

Stanford would hold the lead for the rest of the game, with their biggest lead getting to 12 points multiple times.  The game would tighten up towards the end as Tennessee made a really strong push, cutting the lead to two with only a minute to go.  However, Junior Guard, Amber Orrange would come up huge for the Cardinal getting a lay-up and a foul shot to extend the lead to five and really put the game away.

Stanford was led by Ogwumike who registered 32 points for the second straight contest, this time however she did it while playing all 40 minutes.  Ogwumike also had 20 rebounds, with 11 of them coming on the offensive side of the glass.

“She doesn’t take a possession off, we had trouble with her all night” said Warlick on the play of Ogwumike.

Stanford had a strong performance as well from Freshman Guard, Thompson, who scored 14 points, while bringing down two rebounds in the 35 minutes that she played.

Stanford head coach, Tara VanDerveer had nothing but praise for Thompson’s play “Lili isn’t a freshman for us, and this isn’t the type of game for freshman, you can’t make freshman mistakes.”

Mikaela Ruef had eight points and eight rebounds for the Cardinal.  Coming off of the bench huge for Stanford was Taylor Greenfield scoring 11 points, with nine of them coming from beyond the arc.  The junior also brought down a single rebound.

“Taylor’s threes were huge for us today, it seemed like they were always falling at the right time” VanDerveer commented on Greenfield ‘s play.

On the other side of the ball, Tennessee was led by Ariel Massengale with 17 points.  Meighan Simmons was right behind her with 15 points, and Graves scored 14.  Harrison was on the only Lady Vol to record a double-double as she scored ten points, and added 13 rebounds.

The biggest stat of the night would have to be that of the rebound, as Stanford out-rebounded Tennessee 43-40.  VanDerveer praised the teams rebounding performance as she said to the team before the game, “If you win the battle on the boards, you will win this game.”  Though Stanford did give up 21 offensive rebounds to the Lady Vols that led to 24 second chance points, the head coach was still thrilled about the performance.  She also said that rebounding and boxing out needs to be constantly worked on throughout the season, as Cal will be a very similar team to Tennessee.

With the win, Stanford has beaten the Lady Volunteers in three consecutive contests for the first time in series history.  Stanford also defends Maples Pavilion, as Tennessee has been unsuccessful there since the 2005-06 season.

Tennessee is handed their first loss of the season and moves to 10-1.  They will go on a holiday break and return to the floor on December 29th for the last time of 2013, as they host Lipscomb.  After the New Year, they will then start SEC conference play with their first game against LSU.

Stanford keeps their winning streak alive and moves it up to nine games, and ups their record to 10-1.  The Cardinal will also go on holiday break and return to action December 28th against the Fresno St. Bulldogs in Fresno.  After the New Year, Stanford will also start their conference play with their next home game against the Oregon Ducks on January 3rd.

A Night of Records as Stanford Stomps Lobos

stanford womens bb

By: Joe Lami

The Stanford Cardinal hosted the New Mexico Lobos on Monday in their final tune-up before the big matchup this Saturday, where the number six-ranked team hosts the third ranked Lady Vols.  They defeated the Lobos by the final score of 75-41, to move their record to 9-1.  The team has also won the last 8 in a row.  For the Lobos, they saw their two-game winning streak snapped and their record falls to 4-5 in the process.

The night for Stanford started great for Chiney Ogwumike, who recorded her 2,000th career point just minutes into a first half that she will never forget.  The Stanford All-American Senior recorded 24 of the team’s 40 first half points.

“She’s such an anchor for us” raved VanDerveer on Ogwumike’s performance.

Ogwumike eventually would slow down the production as she finished off her night with eight in the second half ending with 32 points, only four shy of tying her career high, which is set earlier this season against Cal Poly.

The team production was something to be impressed about, as eight different players got on the scoreboard.  The bench scored 32 points of their own. Bonnie Samuelson and Taylor Greenfield led the bench with eight each.  Alex Green and Erica McCall were right behind them with six.  McCall also added eight rebounds, tying her career high, which she set against Purdue in November.  Though Mikaela Ruef only scored two points, she was outstanding on the boards, leading the team with ten.

“Mikaela got it done on the boards”praised VanDerveer on Ruef on her performance.

New Mexico was led by Guard, Bryce Owens, who scored 12 points.  She was the only Lobo to get into double-digits.  Brooke Allemand came off of the bench to add eight points. She was also great on the defensive side of the ball, with her only steal being a memorable one as she anticipated a pass, jumped in front of it and it led to a lay-up.

Lobos coach Yvonne Sanchez stated “it was an opportunity for us to go and play a great team” in her chance to go up against the sixth-ranked team.

The only down side for the Cardinal was that they once again gave up way too many offensive rebounds, with 20.  “We have to do a lot better job of keeping teams off of the glass offensively, but that will give us something to work on between now and when we play Tennessee” said VanDerveer.  The Lobos, who are ranked second in the Mountain West in rebound differential, did a great job against the Cardinal as they were out-rebounded by only two.  The Cardinal won the rebound battle 43-41, however lost the offensive rebound battle 20-12.

The win for the Cardinal also marks the 750th win for VanDerveer as Stanford’s head coach.

The Stanford Cardinal have the rest of the week to prepare for what will be their toughest challenge at home yet, in number three ranked Tennessee.  New Mexico will take a break for Christmas holiday and will return to the court on December 28th.