No. 4 Stanford women’s basketball (26-2, 15-1 Pac-12) heads to Seattle tonight for its first of two trips to Washington. Tonight’s game kicks off the Card’s final regular season road trip, but the team will return to Seattle next weekend for the Pac-12 Tournament.
Last weekend, in the Card’s last home campaign of the 2012-2013 season, Stanford honored seniors Joslyn Tinkle and Mikaela Ruef.
Tinkle scored her 1,000th career point in cardinal and white in Friday’s 90-53 win over Oregon State. Tinkle is the second-leading scorer and rebounder behind junior forward Chiney Ogwumike with 12.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, and is now Stanford’s 34th member of the 1,000-Point Club.
Ogwumike’s record-setting performance Sunday against Oregon won her recognition with two national honors, as she was named to the USBWA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Midseason Top 20 Watch List and the Naismith Trophy Top 30.
Chiney’s 24 rebounds broke the previous school record for rebounds in a single game set by her older sister, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, and made her only the sixth player in Stanford history to grab 1,000 rebounds, which put her into the 1,000-1,000 Club for points and rebounds. In addition, Chiney’s 27 points propelled her to her 52nd career double-double, a school record.
Washington (19-8, 11-5), ranked fifth in the Pac-12, will have to take on Ogwumike and the Card without the defending Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, sophomore point guard Jazmine Davis (19 ppg, 3.24 apg), and redshirt freshman forward Talia Walton (13.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg). The pair was suspended for one game after violating team rules, so the Huskies will have to look to Kristi Kingman (14.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg) to take over. The senior guard recently broke her own school record for 3-pointers in a season with 81. Stanford should have no issues with guarding the perimeter and keeping the Huskies’ scoring to a minimum. This whole season the Cardinal has not allowed a single team to score more than 70 points. If the squad continues to play this style of shutdown defense, it could become the first Stanford team to not allow an opponent to reach 70 points for an entire season.
In addition, a win tonight would make this the sixth straight unbeaten month of February for the program.
The Card leads the all-time series with Washington 42-14. The teams last met at last year’s quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, and Cardinal won 76-57.
Head coach Tara VanDerveer and her team are looking forward to the NCAA Tournament and are treating the remainder of the season as continued preparation.
“Number one, we want to stay healthy. Number two, we want to get better, we want to keep improving,” said VanDerveer. “I’m really excited about how different people are coming in. Tess [Picknell] came in and gave us, not a lot, but valuable minutes, coming into [the game against] UCLA and scoring. Jasmine Camp, Bonnie Samuelson, I’m really happy about how our bench is improving and contributing. That’s something that’s going to be really important for where we want to go.”
Junior guard Sara James has stepped up for the Card, entering the starting lineup for the last bit of the season with junior guard Toni Kokenis still out with an unknown illness.
Sophomore point guard Amber Orrange has been a huge driver of the Stanford offense, with 10.4 points per game, and leads the team with 121 assists.
Although Stanford and Cal are tied for first place in the conference, if both teams come out with wins this weekend, the Cardinal will earn the first seed spot in the Pac-12 Tournament, winning the tiebreaker with the highest overall winning percentage.
“This year has been tremendous and it’s really unfolded well, and we have so much more we want to work on and so much more we want to achieve,” Tinkle said. “I’m just really thankful that I’m a special part of this team, especially this year. It’s exciting that there’s a whole bunch of us that are rising to the occasion and that’s going to be advantageous for all of us.”
The Cardinal finishes regular season play 7 p.m. tonight against Washington and 12 p.m. Saturday against Washington State.
Contact Ashley Westhem at firstname.lastname@example.org.