No. 4 Stanford women’s basketball opened Pac-12 play this weekend with decisive victories over Oregon and Oregon State.
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike, who hit over 30 points in both contests, led the Card against a Ducks’ offense on Friday that was averaging 105 points per game — the highest-scoring team in the nation — beating them 96-66 and holding them to just 33.8-percent shooting from the field and only six-of-26 from behind the arc. Then on Sunday, the Card shot out of the gate to beat the Beavers 89-67.
On Friday, Ogwumike had a lot of help from the rest of the team with 11 other Cardinal players scoring against Oregon. Junior guard Bonnie Samuelson scored a career-high 21 points and tied another career high with six 3-pointers in a game, leading the team’s season best of 12 3-pointers. Despite a good spread of scoring, Ogwumike — who finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds — and Samuelson were the only players to score in double digits.
“[Head coach Tara VanDerveer] has been preaching that to us all year, that we need to be ready and go out there and do our jobs,” Samuelson told GoStanford. “It was good that I shot well tonight, because that hopefully helped release some pressure on Chiney and get her going. We know we have the best player in the nation on our team, and we want to enjoy this year as much as we can with her.”
With her 14 rebounds, Ogwumike had her ninth double-double of the season, and, even more notably, she set the new Pac-12 all-time rebounding record with 1,271 career rebounds. She eclipsed fellow Stanford standouts Jayne Appel ‘10, Kayla Pederson ‘11 and older sister Nneka Ogwumike ‘12.
“Honestly, there are a few times when I’m speechless,” Ogwumike told GoStanford. “I just have great teammates. I love playing for my team, so every night I just go out there and play to the best of my ability. [Records] are great headlines…I just try to be consistent for Coach Tara and our program.
“It’s exciting to hear about these things, but I always have the bigger picture in mind. I just love playing with our team.”
The Ducks, however, put up a good fight in the first half and only trailed by five with seven minutes until halftime. Sophomore Jillian Alleyne scored the most points by any player against the Cardinal this season with 26 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
Samuelson hit three triples during the final three minutes of the first half to spur a 26-14 Stanford run and end the half with the Cardinal ahead 51-34.
Ogwumike opened up the second half on fire, scoring 15 of the Cardinal’s first 20 points. Samuelson then chipped in again with consecutive 3-point plays that put the Card ahead 81-49 with three minutes to play.
“All in all, this was a really good first game for us to come out with in the Pac-12 regular season,” VanDerveer told GoStanford.
The Cardinal continued to dominate in Sunday afternoon’s match against Oregon State, using a 29-4 game-opening run to defeat the Beavers 89-67. This time, Ogwumike received key support in scoring from a different player. Ogwumike had 31 points and 13 rebounds — posting her sixth 30-point game and 10th double-double of the season — and also passed out a season-high six assists.
Freshman Lili Thompson had a career-high 19 points to go with five assists, two steals and five rebounds. Together, Thompson and Ogwumike combined for 36 of Stanford’s 50 points in the first half. Senior Mikaela Ruef and junior Taylor Greenfield also contributed with double digits, scoring 10 and 13 points, respectively.
Oregon State shot just 38.3 percent Sunday, making this the 13th out of 14 games this season that Stanford has held its opponents to under 40-percent shooting.
The Cardinal embarks on its first Pac-12 road trip of the season with Utah on Friday and Colorado on Sunday.
Contact Ashley Westhem at awesthem ‘at’ stanford.edu.