Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike had a National Player of the Year-worthy game Monday night at Maples, scoring 32 points in just 23 minutes of play during No. 6 Stanford’s (9-1) 75-41 victory over New Mexico.
The team’s “concert master,” as head coach Tara VanDerveer referred to Ogwumike after Saturday’s win against Gonzaga, scored her 2,000th career point off of a free throw to put her in the ranks of older sister Nneka Ogwumike ’12, Jayne Appel ’10, Nicole Powell ’04 and Val Whiting ’93 in the 2,000-point and 1,000-rebound club.
“Chiney did such a great job tonight,” VanDerveer said. “She went over 2,000 points, and she’s just such an anchor for us, calling for the ball, rebounding, scoring. She just had a great game for us.”
Ogwumike scored 23 of the Cardinal’s first 25 points to put the team ahead 25-7 before taking a seat to a standing ovation with 9:52 remaining in the half. Although she missed out on a double-double performance, her seven rebounds put her in third on Stanford’s all-time rebounding list with 1,227.
Freshman Erica McCall was the only other Cardinal player to score before Ogwumike went to the bench, finishing with six points and eight rebounds in the game. Dominating the boards, however, was fifth-year senior forward Mikaela Ruef, who picked up 10 rebounds (her sixth double-digit rebound game this season), three assists and three blocks.
The Card went into halftime leading 40-21. Three consecutive three-pointers by the Lobos midway through the second frame weren’t enough to give them momentum, as Stanford junior guard Taylor Greenfield, in her second game back after injury, answered with eight points, going two for two from behind the arc and giving the Card a 52-33 lead with 12:36 left. Junior guard Bonnie Samuelson, also in her second game back from injury, tied Greenfield’s scoring total.
Despite the fact that Ogwumike was the only Stanford player to score in double figures, the Card received scoring contributions from nine of the 10 players who played double-digit minutes to spread the points among starters and those off the bench.
A three-point play by redshirt sophomore Alex Green sparked a 15-5 run that put the Card up 67-38. At that point, the Stanford bench took over to finish the game, with dominant play by Samuelson, freshman Kailee Johnson and junior Jasmine Camp, who combined for the final eight straight points of the game.
“We played a lot of people. We’re just trying to figure out our rotation,” VanDerveer said. “We had a lot of different people contribute. [McCall] came in and did a good job for us, Taylor Greenfield helped us, Alex Green did a really nice job and Mikaela got it done on the boards.”
The Cardinal hosts perennial powerhouse No. 3 Tennessee at Maples Pavilion this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Contact Ashley Westhem at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu.