Despite an ugly first half against Washington on Saturday, the Stanford women’s basketball team rallied with a stronger second-half effort to top the Huskies, 65-47.
After not being able to find the bottom of the net effectively for the first 20 minutes, the Cardinal finally found a way to separate itself from the Huskies—the three-point shot of freshman Taylor Greenfield, who hit four three-pointers over an eight-minute span to spark a 17-3 run. The Huxley, Iowa native helped stretch Stanford’s lead from just seven points at halftime into a 21-point lead with 8:45 left to put the game well out of reach.
“Taylor came in and knocked down big shots for us,” said head coach Tara VanDerveer. “She’s an extremely intelligent player and she understands what we need from her.”
Stanford shot a paltry 30.3 percent from the field in the first half, mostly due to the Huskies holding the Ogwumike sisters in check—Nnemkadi and Chiney combined for just nine points in the first half. But after Greenfield started dropping everything from outside, the sisters were able to work more effectively inside, with senior Nnemkadi eventually finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Chiney ending up with 15 points and 11 rebounds, her eighth consecutive double-double.
“The discussion at halftime was about coming in and hitting open shots,” Greenfield said. “Thankfully my shot was going today. [Washington] was too focused on Nneka and Chiney, like they should be. I tried to find the right spot at the right time. I was noticing they were flocking inside and they totally forgot about us half the time.”
With her 15 points, Nnemkadi Ogwumike moved into fifth place on Stanford’s career scoring list with 2,082 points. With five more, Ogwumike can vault herself into fourth place, and with 11 regular season games remaining, as well as the Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments, Ogwumike has an excellent chance to pass Val Whiting, Jayne Appel, Kate Starbird and Candice Wiggins for first place all-time.
The Huskies were led by guard Jazmine Davis, who had 16 points, followed by fellow guard Mercedes Wetmore, who added 11. However, Wetmore turned the ball over a team-high seven times, a substantial portion of the 22 turnovers the Huskies had during the game.
After the efforts of the Ogwumikes and Greenfield, the Cardinal didn’t have a great offensive game, shooting less than 30 percent from beyond the arc, but it did redeem a 30.3 shooting percentage in the first half with a 46.7-percent conversion rate from the floor in the second frame. The Stanford defense did its part to pick up the slack, though, holding the Huskies to 33.3-percent shooting from the floor.
The Cardinal now has a full week off before welcoming Cal into Maples Pavilion on Saturday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bears are 6-2 in conference play, just two games behind the Cardinal, which is still a perfect 8-0.