No. 5 Stanford 97, Old Dominion 48

BY foxsports • November 18, 2011

Tara VanDerveer wasn't surprised when Old Dominion tried to sag its defense down low in hopes of limiting Stanford's 1-2 punch of Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike.

The fifth-ranked Cardinal simply switched gears and went elsewhere for its offense.

Now it's on to Connecticut for a game against the fourth-ranked Huskies in what has become one of the sport's best rivalries.

Nneka Ogwumike had 14 points and six rebounds, Lindy La Rocque added a career-high 15 points on five 3-pointers, and No. 5 Stanford extended its winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 65 games with a 97-48 win over Old Dominion on Thursday night.

''We're going to need that kind of effort from everybody,'' VanDerveer said. ''(Nneka is) a great player, but we're a lot more than just one player and I think that's what we saw tonight.''

Ogwumike, playing in her second game after sitting out the opener with an upper body injury, wasn't as sharp as she had been four nights earlier when she had 33 points and 18 rebounds against Gonzaga. Then again, she didn't need to be.

La Rocque bested her previous career high before halftime and finished 5 of 7 from the floor to pick up the scoring slack. Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka's younger sister, added 13 points and nine rebounds for Stanford, which hasn't lost at home in more than four years.

''What we've been stressing most importantly is our collective effort,'' Nneka Ogwumike said. ''It's not about individual statistics. It's about our journey together being successful. I know I have a really great support system.''

Stanford (3-0) will need all the help it can get against Connecticut. The Cardinal ended the Huskies record 90-game winning streak last year with a 71-59 victory at Maples on Dec. 30.

''There's been some chitchatting about what it's like to play there,'' La Rocque said. ''Everyone is excited. It's not hard to wake up for this game.''

Tia Lewis had 11 points and six rebounds to lead Old Dominion, which remained winless under first-year coach Karen Barefoot. The Lady Monarchs (0-3) shot 30.3 percent from the floor, were outrebounded 52-34 and were more than a little overwhelmed.

''We tried to prepare them for what they were going to come into, but it's really hard to prepare them for something like this,'' Barefoot said. ''It definitely was an eye-opener for a lot of our kids. They were shaking in their shorts during the first media timeout and I could tell they were rattled.''

Unlike in 1997, when Stanford and Old Dominion played an overtime thriller in the NCAA tournament semifinals, there was little doubt about the outcome of this one.

The Cardinal built a 32-point by halftime, made a season-high 12 3-pointers then coasted over the final 15 minutes when coach Tara VanDerveer emptied her bench.

Despite their numbers, neither Nneka (5 of 11) nor Chiney (4-for-7) shot particularly well against Old Dominion early. Instead, La Rocque and point guard Toni Kokenis carried the scoring load for Stanford until the sisters got going after halftime.

That's an encouraging sign heading into Monday's game against Connecticut.

''(Old Dominion) chose maybe to sag in. If you'd have watched the game with Gonzaga I would have done the same thing,'' VanDerveer said. ''Our team answered, knocking down threes.''

After playing Connecticut, Stanford plays at Xavier on Friday. The Cardinal also host No. 3 Tennessee in December, a rough non-conference schedule VanDerveer hopes pays off.

Her team has a little momentum going now after struggling with its perimeter shooting in the first two games.

Stanford made only seven 3-pointers in its first two games but had that many in the first eight minutes against Old Dominion. Six came during a 23-5 run in the first half when the Cardinal opened a 20-point lead.

La Rocque and freshman Taylor Greenfield had three 3s apiece during the run, and La Rocque later added two more to make it 42-17.

''Taylor made those two right off the bat and it was like setting the tone,'' La Rocque said. ''Our teammates were finding us, we were wide open and we just knocked `em down. It was fun.''

Old Dominion couldn't keep up.

The Lady Monarchs missed their first 13 3-pointers and didn't make one until 10:02 was left in the game.

Joslyn Tinkle added 12 points and seven rebounds for Stanford.

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