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Stanford sweeps Cal in Battle of the Bay

The Stanford women’s basketball team notched its 20th consecutive victory with a 79-64 victory over its rival, the No. 21 California Golden Bears (14-7, 6-4 Pac-12) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley on Sunday in the second edition of the Battle of the Bay in under a week. The win pushed the Cardinal to 21-1 overall this season and a perfect 10-0 in its Pac-12 conference games to assert itself as the clear leader in the west. This was its seventh consecutive victory against teams rated in the top 25 nationally this season.

In a quick rematch after Stanford beat Cal 70-64 at Maples on Thursday, Stanford was able to notch yet another Pac-12 victory, its second in four days. The Cardinal was led in scoring by senior All-American forward and National Player of the Year candidate Chiney Ogwumike’s 29 points and junior point guard Amber Orrange’s 13.

(FRANK CHEN/The Stanford Daily)

Freshman guard Karlie Samuelson (44) helped clinch the Cardinal win by knocking down key free throws at the end, finishing with 16 points in the Cardinal’s win. (FRANK CHEN/The Stanford Daily)

Stanford started off the beginning of the game strong, shooting 56 percent from the field in the first half of play while holding the Bears to only 31 percent. As she usually does, Ogwumike was able to dominate in the paint on Sunday, breaking through the double teams and help-side defense.

“Chiney is just in there and they’ve got to deal with her and she finishes really well,” said Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer of Ogwumike.

Ogwumike was able to sink 10 of her 16 shots, most of which came from down low, in her 19th 20-point game of the season. Due partly to Ogwumike’s success, Stanford ended the game having scored 30 points in the paint. The dominance in the paint also allowed Stanford to get open looks from the perimeter.

Freshman guard Karlie Samuelson added 16 points and shot 7-of-7 from the free throw line, knocking six down in the final 75 seconds of the game when Cal started fouling in an effort to close the gap despite the game being out of reach with Stanford holding a double-digit lead.

Like Samuelson, many of the Cardinal’s players outside of Ogwumike appear to be stepping up and becoming more comfortable in their roles at this point, something Coach VanDerveer emphasized as important to the Cardinal’s long-term success. Redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef also added nine points, five assists and 11 rebounds in another solid performance.

For Cal, junior guard Brittany Boyd led the charge with 20 points, six assists and six rebounds. Though senior guard Mikayla Lyles also posted a career-high 16 points while shooting an impressive 4-of-5 from 3-point range, the Card was able to hold Cal’s leading scorer, junior forward Reshanda Gray, to just seven points. The aggressive play of Ogwumike on the offensive end forced Gray to commit five fouls and leave the game with more than five minutes remaining in regulation.

“Tara [VanDerveer is] the mastermind of limiting other teams’ top scorers and making other players beat you,” said Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

Following a sweep of the Bears this weekend, Stanford has now won 24 of its last 27 matchups against its rival in Berkeley. The Card also remains firmly in control at the top of the Pac-12 conference standings with the victory. Next weekend, the team looks to keep its conference record unblemished as it travels to Washington to take on the Washington State Cougars and the Washington Huskies.

Contact Lauren Lockett at llockett ‘at’