Ogwumike sisters lead No. 3 Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. (AP)—Nnemkadi Ogwumike gave her younger sister passing marks for her college debut.
Ogwumike scored 20 points and her sister Chiney Ogwumike added nine points and 12 rebounds to help No. 3 Stanford beat Rutgers 63-50 Sunday.
“She did well in terms of being aggressive,” Ogwumike said. “Any freshman will have some difficulty with the tempo if the game but I thought she handled herself well and composed herself.”
Kayla Pedersen added 13 points as the Cardinal won their 10th straight season opener. Joslyn Tinkle had 10 points as the Cardinal won their 47th straight home game, their second-longest steak in school history.
“This was a great game to start with,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “Rutgers has an excellent program with some experienced players. If you don’t do it the right way they will make you pay for it.”
Erica Wheeler scored 16 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (0-2), who lost at California on Friday night. April Sykes added 12 points.
Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer used six players in the contest, with all of them playing at least 25 minutes. They maintained pressure throughout the game and were within 10 with just under two minutes to play.
“I thought we were a little tired,” Stringer said. “We have to be in better shape. We doubled our turnovers in the second half. We need to play two halves. It doesn’t matter if its Cal, Stanford or the sisters of the poor.”
Stanford, which won its sixth straight from the Scarlet Knights, used a 14-3 run that spanned both halves to open a 36-29 advantage in the first five minutes of the second half.
“I don’t think we really got into a good flow offensively,” Pedersen said. “It was all about getting it inside. That’s where we won the game.”
Nnemkadi Ogwumike is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year while her freshman sister Chiney was the National Gatorade Player of the Year last year.
“I was a little nervous and it was a little difficult to get used to the tempo,” the younger Ogwumike said. “But this team is together and it helps to have these seniors.”
Stanford led at halftime, 32-29.
Wheeler gave Rutgers a 26-22 lead late in the first half when she sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Pedersen, who missed her first six shots, made six of her next seven attempts to spark the comeback.
The Ogwumikes made all the difference though. They helped give the Cardinal a 20-2 edge in second-chance points.
“They’re so tall and so good,” Stringer said. “That creates problems for us.”
Chiney controlled the paint during her 22 minutes of action, sweeping away five offensive boards. Nnemkadi, who played nearly the full game, was 8-of-12 from the floor as the Cardinal outscored the Scarlet Knights 24-12 in the paint.
Stringer, in her 40th year as a coach, and VanDerveer, six wins shy of 800, are two of the winningest coaches in the nation, combining for 1,637 victories.