No. 4 Stanford 85, Princeton 66

Tara VanDerveer never worries about the production of star

sisters Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike. She needs more from the rest

of Stanford’s roster – and right now.

Tennessee comes to town Tuesday and the Cardinal’s school-record

67-game winning streak seems vulnerable.

Nneka Ogwumike showed what a perimeter threat she has become in

a matter of months, knocking down long jumpers all game on the way

to 22 points and 12 rebounds for No. 4 Stanford in a hard-fought

85-66 victory over Princeton on Saturday.

Her little sister, Chiney, added 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting

and nine rebounds as the Cardinal (7-1) extended their

school-record home winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 67 games

with a big second half. Stanford returned from its annual two-week

break for final exams and received a tough test in a tuneup for

Tuesday night’s sold-out showdown with the sixth-ranked Lady


”Nneka and Chiney sure balled today. They got after it,”

VanDerveer said. ”For our team coming off of finals, we really

needed this game. I thought their pace was great, I thought they

were scrappy. If Nneka and Chiney were on their team, we would have

gotten blasted. We need more people to step up.”

Lauren Edwards scored 16 points for scrappy Princeton (7-4),

which played a ranked opponent for the third time in its last five

games but has still never beaten a Top-25 opponent.

The Tigers were aggressive on both ends of the floor despite

being overmatched, losing for the fourth time in five games

following a 6-0 start. They are the two-time defending Ivy League

champion with their sights set on a third straight trip to the NCAA


”I think they’re a tournament team. They played a tough

schedule,” VanDerveer said.

Coach Courtney Banghart certainly hopes this tough stretch will

help come March.

Nneka Ogwumike, fifth in the nation coming in with a 24.0

scoring average, hit long jumpers on each of her first four baskets

– something she worked on tirelessly during the summer to become a

more versatile scorer. She hit two 17-footers, an 18-footer and a

15-footer during the early sequence and another 15-footer late in

the game, helping Stanford to its fourth straight win since a 68-58

loss at Connecticut on Nov. 21.

”That’s one thing I emphasized this summer with Chiney, and we

still do. We come out early and work on our shots,” Nneka Ogwumike

said. ”It’s all about having confidence in your shot. It’s

definitely a new part of my dimension.”

Princeton leading scorer Niveen Rasheed, who grew up in nearby

Danville, also added 16 points but was held to 6-for-20 shooting –

just below her 17.4 scoring average. The Tigers have started three

or four Californians in each game, including two from the Bay Area.

They made it a game in the first half, trailing 39-32 at the break

with a 22-21 rebounding edge.

”We came out here to win like everybody else comes, not very

many come out with a victory,” Banghart said.

Both Banghart and VanDerveer were unhappy with the officiating

and too many fouls being called rather than letting the teams play

a physical game – like the ones they’ll get in the tournament.

VanDerveer deals with this same dilemma every year during her

rigorous non-conference schedule.

”I think it’s just how they call things on the West Coast,

which is different than the East Coast,” she said.

The Tigers took the ball aggressively to the basket, knocked

down shots under pressure and crashed the boards for an early

rebounding advantage over the much taller Cardinal. They knew a

thing or two about this opponent.

Princeton assistant Milena Flores played for 26th-year Stanford

coach VanDerveer and helped the Cardinal to the 1997 Final Four.

She ranks third in program history for career assists.

VanDerveer substituted regularly throughout the first half to

keep players fresh. She stuck with the Ogwumikes until the waning

minutes before both came out with 2:36 to play.

Freshman Taylor Greenfield scored five points during Stanford’s

13-4 spurt to open the second half as the Cardinal pulled away.

Princeton center Devona Allgood also picked up her fourth foul with

17:19 left, which hurt the Tigers’ inside presence against the

Ogwumike sisters. Allgood was whistled for her fifth foul with 9:07

remaining and took a seat for good.

”We knew coming to this gym we’d have to give our 100 percent

effort and if we didn’t they would get all the loose balls and the

momentum,” Rasheed said.

Lindy La Rocque returned to Stanford’s starting lineup after

coming off the bench the previous three games for the Cardinal

because of a right foot problem that limited her minutes. She made

three 3-pointers but Stanford shot just 6 for 22 from long range.

Toni Kokenis added 11 points with two 3s for Stanford, which

recovered for a 46-42 rebounding lead.

This game was the second meeting between the schools after

Stanford beat the Tigers 95-39 at Maples on Nov. 29, 2002

The Cardinal know they will have to be sharp for 40 minutes

against Tennessee.

”It’s hustle,” Chiney Ogwumike said. ”We shouldn’t allow

other teams to run out on us. That’s our goal. Sometimes it happens

and we have to adjust. We all know we can do better.”