No. 2 Stanford 63, Oregon St. 47
Stanford's Kayla Pedersen didn't mean any disrespect to Oregon State when she said the second-ranked Cardinal need to win more convincingly.
Pedersen scored 23 points and Stanford bided its time until finally pulling away from Oregon State in the second half for a 63-47 victory Thursday night.
``We can do a lot better,'' Pedersen said. ``I think our standards need to be a lot higher if we want to be a national championship team.''
Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinal (16-1, 6-0 Pacific-10), who have won seven straight since an 80-68 loss to top-ranked Connecticut.
Talisa Rhea had 26 points for Oregon State (9-7, 1-5) which has lost five straight since opening conference play with a victory over Washington State.
Rhea had 17 points in the first half and the Beavers trailed 29-27 at the break. But they could not keep up with the bigger and faster Cardinal in the second.
``I think we played with a little more urgency in the second half, a little more enthusiasm and aggression,'' Pedersen said.
Stanford made just three of five free-throw attempts in the first half, but finished 17 of 19. The Cardinal also outrebounded the Beavers 23-11 in the second half.
``We never got flow,'' Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. ``We never got to do exactly what we wanted to do - and that's a credit to them.''
The Beavers have not defeated Stanford since an 81-65 victory at Gill in 2001. Overall, the Cardinal hold a 44-6 series lead over Oregon State.
The Cardinal swept the Washington schools last week at Maples Pavilion, but had to change up their starting lineup for the first time this season because of injuries. Junior guard Jeanette Pohlen hurt her right ankle in a victory over Washington State last Thursday.
Sophomore Lindy La Rocque made her third career start in Pohlen's place against the Beavers, but Pohlen came in off the bench and didn't appear slowed too much by her ankle. She finished with 27 minutes.
The Cardinal jumped out to a 10-2 lead, and the smaller Beavers had trouble with center Ogwumike and forwards Pedersen and Jayne Appel - all 6-plus footers.
Rhea almost single-handedly kept Oregon State in the game, with seven of the team's first nine points. Those seven points gave the junior guard from Alaska 1,000 points for her career.
The Cardinal went cold and Oregon State took a 14-13 lead midway through the first half on Rhea's 3-pointer.
Michelle Harrison answered with a 3-pointer for Stanford, but Rhea came back with another of her own.
The two teams wrestled with the lead but Stanford went up by two at the half after Pedersen's layup and Joslyn Tinkle's free throw.
Tinkle's 3-pointer put the Cardinal ahead 40-32 in the second half. Stanford led by as many as eight before Rhea hit a jumper and a 3-pointer to narrow it to 42-39 midway through.
Pedersen hit a layup and made six straight free throws and Stanford pulled away with a 50-39 lead.
``We were stuck on 39 points for six straight minutes,'' Oregon State coach LaVonda Wagner said, and that's what really hurt us.''
In addition to Pohlen, the Cardinal saw the return of reserve guard JJ Hones, who had missed the last two games because of swelling in her surgically repaired left knee.