No. 4 Stanford 71, Washington 36

Bonnie Samuelson joked she was given just one job for No. 4
Stanford on Thursday night: Shoot 3s. Make 3s.

”I just wanted to go out there and show that I could do it and
show that I have confidence in myself,” Samuelson said.

Samuelson hit four 3-pointers in a five-minute stretch of the
first half, Chiney Ogwumike scored 24 points and grabbed 13
rebounds and Stanford raced past short-handed Washington 71-36.

The Cardinal rolled to their 13th straight victory and remained
on course for their 22nd regular-season conference title – shared
or outright.

Stanford (27-2, 16-1 Pac-12) can claim at least a share of the
conference crown with California if it wins at Washington State on
Saturday.

Ogwumike scored 14 in the second half after the Cardinal used
their outside shooting to take control in the first 20 minutes.

”We did not shoot the ball that well. But we rebounded and we
did a better job taking care of the ball. We didn’t have very many
turnovers,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. ”It was kind of
a hard game to come into to be honest with you.”

The reason it was a difficult game to prepare for was Washington
being down two starters. The Huskies played without leading scorer
Jazmine Davis and third-leading scorer Talia Walton.

The pair, along with Deborah Meeks, were suspended earlier this
week for one game by coach Kevin McGuff for violating team
rules.

McGuff said the violation did not involve academics, drugs or
alcohol, but robbed Washington of its best chance at getting a
needed victory to try and save an NCAA tournament resume that’s
become weaker in the past two weeks.

Aminah Williams led Washington (19-9, 11-6) with 10 points.

”We really wanted to focus on what we could control tonight and
go out there and compete. I think we did that,” McGuff said. ”Our
kids had two good days of practice and had good concentration. I
think we followed the game plan pretty well, but Stanford made a
bunch of shots. And their defense is really good.”

Samuelson, who averages just five points, immediately took
advantage of Washington’s zone defense. Unable to mark all of
Stanford’s perimeter shooters, Samuelson became the beneficiary.
She missed her first 3-point attempt, but knocked down the next
four as Stanford turned an early six-point deficit into a
comfortable lead.

”They really had all the momentum and then Bonnie came in,”
Ogwumike said. ”That gave us the lead and really propelled us and
gave us the momentum and we fed off that momentum.

Samuelson’s shooting was part of a 23-2 run, that included six
3-pointers for Stanford and gave the Cardinal a 26-11 lead. Joslyn
Tinkle also knocked down a pair of early 3-pointers to help
Stanford, but the Cardinal’s second-leading scorer was just 5 of 17
shooting and 2 of 10 on 3-pointers. Tinkle finished with 12
points.

Stanford made seven of its nine 3-pointers in the first half.
They attempted a season-high 39 3s.

”That’s what they were giving us,” Ogwumike said of the 3s.
”They were packed inside. We learned a lot from that game.”

While it wasn’t Stanford’s best shooting night, the Cardinal
were dominant defensively. Washington shot just 17 percent and
Stanford allowed a season low in points.

Washington dressed just seven players and only six were on
scholarship. Playing without Davis and Walton took away more than
33 points per game and put a significant amount of the scoring onus
on Kristi Kingma.

Stanford knew that, as well, and harassed the Huskies senior
with multiple players rotating on her defensively. The result was a
miserable night for Kingma, who made just 1 of 11 shots and
finished with six points.

Equally off was point guard Mercedes Wetmore, who missed her
first 10 shots before making a 3-pointer just before the halftime
buzzer.

Washington shot just 15 percent in the first half and had nine
shots blocked by the Cardinal. The Huskies then went scoreless for
the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half until Heather Corral
banked in a runner.

By that point, the Cardinal lead had ballooned to 28.

”We came out really aggressive, but Stanford just asserted
themselves and proved why they are one of the best teams in the
country,” Kingma said.