Ogwumike leads No. 4 Stanford women over USC 86-59
STANFORD, Calif. (AP)
All-American Chiney Ogwumike gets all the attention. Fellow senior Mikaela Ruef is just fine with that, even when her own performance nearly goes unnoticed.
Ogwumike had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 4 Stanford to an 86-59 victory over Southern California on Monday night in a game between the Pac-12's top teams.
Ruef added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (19-1, 8-0), who won their 18th straight to open a two-game lead at the top of the conference standings.
''I think what happened last year was that we depended on Chiney too much,'' said Ruef, one of five Cardinal players to score in double figures. ''If other people are scoring, they can't double off me or the guards and that means we can find Chiney even more.''
Ogwumike, third in the nation in scoring, had at least 30 points for the 10th time this season, adding to her Stanford record. She also recorded her 15th double-double.
''I keep telling people this,'' Ogwumike said, ''my teammates are the No. 1 reason I can finish.''
Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson scored 12 points apiece, Karlie Samuelson had 10 and Stanford beat the Trojans for the 13th straight time.
''I thought we did a good job on defense,'' Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. ''This is a team that focuses on defense. I like to say we are a scouting report team. We try to take away another team's strengths.''
Ariya Crook scored 18 points and Cassie Harberts added 17 for USC (14-7, 7-2), which had won four straight and nine of its last 10. The loss was in overtime at then No. 23 Arizona State.
''One of the big changes is on defense,'' Trojans' coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said. ''We didn't show it tonight, but for the last month or so we have been playing solid team defense.''
The closest USC got in the second half was when Kaneisha Horn hit a jumper with 17:26 remaining in the game, cutting Stanford's lead to 50-34.
Nine minutes and 12 points from Ogwumike later, the Cardinal were up by 28 points, their largest lead of the game.
''We still have to do a better job of rebounding,'' VanDerveer said. ''We need to be more aggressive grabbing the ball. We need to continue to improve our guard play.''
Stanford used a 14-0 run to lead 46-28 at halftime.
Deanna Calhoun hit a jumper with 10:15 left in the first half to bring the Trojans within 23-20.
USC went cold for the next seven minutes, missing 11 consecutive field goal attempts and two free throws as the Cardinal built a 37-20 advantage.
''We have to learn from this and move on,'' Cooper-Dyke said. ''It's back to the drawing board to fix some of the mistakes we made.''
Alexyz Vaioletama ended the field goal drought with 3:06 left, just over a minute after Crook, who scored 34 points in the Trojans' win over California on Friday, hit a pair of free throws.
The Trojans shot under 35 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes while Stanford was just over 55 percent.
Cooper-Dyke, a two-time Olympian and former WNBA MVP, played on USC's two NCAA championship teams in 1983-84.