Ogwumike sisters lead No. 3 Stanford past Bulldogs
As skilled as freshman Chiney Ogwumike and junior Nnemaki Ogwumike are for Stanford, having fun may be their best attribute.
Chiney Ogwumike had season-highs of 18 points and 13 rebounds, Nnemaki Ogwumike added 17 points and No. 3 Stanford beat Fresno State 77-40 on Sunday.
''It's rare enough to find young women that mobile and graceful - and they like playing,'' Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins said. ''Honestly, that sets them apart.''
Chiney recorded her first career double-double and needs 24 more to catch up with her older sister.
''Fresno was a great test for us because they were aggressive from the start,'' Chiney Ogwumike said. ''We were able to develop our high-low inside game and we recognized each other when we worked hard to get open. It was really unselfish play.''
Jeanette Pohlen added 15 points for the Cardinal (6-0), who won their 50th consecutive home game.
''I was just telling Chiney that every miss I had she was right there for the rebound and putback,'' Pohlen said.
Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer won her 799th game, the 647th at Stanford. Her 800th win could come as early as Thursday when Stanford travels to DePaul to begin a tough stretch of nonconference games that include No. 8 Tennessee on the road and No. 4 Xavier and No. 1 Connecticut at home.
''We need to focus on playing a lot of really good posts,'' Pohlen said.
Rosie Moult had 11 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bulldogs (7-3), who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
''It was hard to deal with them in the rebounding department,'' said Wiggins, who led the Bulldogs to an NCAA appearance last season. ''We had difficulty with the Ogwumike sisters because they are physical and can score in a lot of different ways.''
Stanford's Kayla Pedersen took a charge and hit her head on the court midway through the first half and left the game. VanDerveer said it was more cautionary to keep her out.
The Cardinal outscored the Bulldogs by 29 points over the final 15:20 of the first half to take a 42-17 lead.
Jaleesa Rose, fourth on Fresno State's all-time scoring list, was limited to seven points. She averaged 18.3 in her previous three games.
Freshman Toni Kokenis made her first career start as VanDerveer continues to look for help at guard. Fifth-year senior Melanie Murphy, out with a knee injury, is Stanford's most experienced guard.
''Her ability to beat people off the dribble is something we need,'' VanDerveer said. ''Sometimes she got going a little too fast. She got better as the game went on and calmed down.''
Pohlen hit a 3-pointer at the 13:27 mark of the first half to become the 32nd Stanford women's player to reach 1,000 points.
The Cardinal, who were off the past two weeks with finals, needed about five minutes to shake off the cobwebs. Fresno State held a 13-9 lead when Moult hit a 3-pointer with 15:20 remaining in the first half. That would be the Bulldogs' last field goal for over 10 minutes.
After making five of their first six shots, the Bulldogs were 1 of 16 the rest of the half.
Stanford, meanwhile, was 10 of 16 after missing four of its first seven shots.