No. 4 Stanford women rout UCLA 77-50By BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer Saturday, Dec 31, 2011
Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike each posted double-doubles for the second straight game to lead the fourth-ranked Cardinal past UCLA 77-50 Saturday, handing the Bruins their 12th consecutive loss against the perennial Pac-12 women’s powerhouse.
“It was a matter of who got tired first,” said Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds. “UCLA is known for denying. What really helped us was our depth and pace.”
Chiney Ogwumike had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Toni Kokenis added 11 points for the Cardinal (11-1, 2-0), which won their eighth in a row and extended their league winning streak to a record 59 games.
“They really played strong and physical and you don’t really find it that often,” said Chiney Ogwumike, who relished banging in the post.
UCLA’s Rebekah Gardner scored 17 points and Markel Walker added 11 for the injury-riddled Bruins (6-7, 1-1). They were without leading scorer and rebounder Atonye Nyingifa, who tore her right ACL in a loss to Tennessee on Dec. 17 and is out for the season. They had already lost Jasmine Dixon, who ruptured her Achilles tendon in September.
“Does it make it tougher? You bet,” first-year UCLA coach Cori Close said. “We’re going to have to be more creative and more disciplined.”
The Bruins gave Stanford all it could handle in the game’s opening nine minutes, when they led by one point in front of a full house at the John Wooden Center.
“The first 10 minutes, we had them shooting jumpers and we were boxing them out,” Gardner said. “As the game went on, we kind of fell away from that.”
The Cardinal eventually found a rhythm behind the Ogwumike sisters and forced UCLA into shooting a season-worst 28 percent from the floor.
“We want to play a physical game. We’re excited about that,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “It was a good tone for us.”
Ahead by 17 points at halftime, Stanford quickly extended its lead to 25 midway through the second half. Chiney Ogwumike scored eight of the Cardinal’s first 17 points before she and her sister, along with Kokenis, sat down for good with 10 minutes remaining. The reserves outscored UCLA’s bench, 30-10.
“It was a great game for some of our young players,” VanDerveer said.
The Cardinal completed a sweep of the Los Angeles schools on opening weekend of Pac-12 play, having beaten Southern California 61-53 on Thursday. They were forced to rally in the final 10 minutes of that game in which they shot 38 percent from the floor.
“This weekend was a hard weekend,” Nnemkadi Ogwumike said.
This time, Stanford shot 51 percent and hit 70 percent from the free throw line. The Ogwumikes helped the Cardinal dominate the boards, 49-27. Their only weaknesses were from 3-point range, where they hit 15 percent and had 14 turnovers.
With UCLA ahead by one, the Cardinal went on a 25-7 run to end the first half ahead 40-23. Chiney Ogwumike, whose sister carried the early offensive load, had 10 points and Kokenis added eight in the spurt. The Cardinal stepped up their defense too, mixing in full-court pressure that resulted in a sequence of airballs, missed shots and Walker getting stripped on her way to the basket.