No. 4 Stanford stays atop the Pac-12 with 86-59 victory over visiting USC
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Visiting unranked USC (14-7, 7-2), fresh from a road victory over No. 21 Cal Friday night had no answers for Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike Monday as the senior forward led her team to an 86-59 victory at Maples Pavilion. The win solidified Stanford’s spot atop the Pac-12 while USC stays in the second-place slot. Stanford broke the Trojans’ four-game winning streak.
Led by Ogwumike’s 30 points and 16 rebounds, five Stanford players finished the game in double figures for the second time this season. Ogwumike’s double-double marked her 15th of 2013-2014. Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson each scored 12 points. Mikaela Ruef contributed 11 and Karlie Samuelson 10.
“It’s very big for our team,” Ruef said of the balanced effort. “I think what happened last year was we depended too much on Chiney. Chiney still had 30 points today but with five players scoring in double figures it takes some of the pressure off of her.”
Stanford shot 55 percent from the floor through the first 20 minutes to outpace the Trojans’ 35 percent. USC hung close with Stanford (19-1, 8-0) for much for the first half but Ruef was the catalyst for a 14-0 run when Stanford led by 25-20 at 9:16. Sophomore Alex Green finished the run with a three-pointer giving Stanford a 37-20 lead. At the half the Cardinal had a 46-28 advantage.
“I really liked our team effort. I thought this was a great game for Mikaela with a double-double, something I think she’s honestly capable of every night,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer. “Her rebounding and defense was very heady on Cassie [Harberts].”
Stanford’s defense held USC scoreless for 6:04. Ruef stifled Trojan forward Cassie Harberts, limiting the USC player who entered the game averaging 15.7 points, to just five on 2-for-5 shooting in the first half.
Ariya Crook led the Trojans with 18 points. Harberts finished with 17 points.
Stanford opened up their lead to 20 when the second half began with four points from Orrange. The Cardinal proceeded to rout USC in the second stanza leading by 28, 73-45 at 8:46.
“We just had a lot of different people contribute,” said VanDerveer. “Amber had a good game….Five people in double figures is great.”
Stanford has a quick turnaround in competition and prepares for the Battle of the Bay with Cal Thursday at home. The series with the Bears heads to Berkeley on Sunday. USC returns home to host Washington State on Friday.
- Stanford is now 52-19 all-time against USC, and has now won 13 in a row against the Trojans after Monday’s 86-59 victory.
- The last time five Stanford players scored in double figures was November 26, 2013 against Purdue in Puerto Vallarta.
- The Cardinal shot 50.8 percent (32-for-63) Monday night, marking it the 10th time this season, and fourth game in a row in which the team has shot at least 50.0 percent from the field.
- Chiney Ogwumike’s 30 points increased her career scoring total to 2,312, 179 points behind older sister Nneka Ogwumike (2,491) for second place on Stanford’s all-time scoring list.