No. 6 Stanford women beat No. 23 Gonzaga 73-45
When Tara VanDerveer’s mother showed up for a surprise visit,
the Hall of Fame coach knew something might be happening at
Stanford in her honor.
Just more than two weeks later, VanDerveer finally got her
special moment in front of the appreciative fans at Maples
Chiney Ogwumike had 19 points and seven rebounds and No. 6
Stanford celebrated VanDerveer’s 900th victory back at home,
beating 23rd-ranked Gonzaga 73-45 on Saturday.
Ogwumike shot 8 for 16 and in the first game at Maples Pavilion
since VanDerveer won her 900th game against Florida Gulf Coast on
Nov. 27 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. VanDerveer became the fifth
Division I coach to join the 900 club, and was honored after the
game for her accomplishment in an on-court ceremony.
”It’s cool to be a part of something so special,” Ogwumike
said. ”She makes us better players. She’s wise beyond her
A cheering crowd on its feet after the final buzzer,
VanDerveer’s players pulled on Cardinal red 900 T-shirts, while
Stanford President John Hennessy and athletic director Bernard Muir
presented the coach with a framed No. 900 white Stanford
”It’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around 900,”
VanDerveer said over the public address system. ”This is the only
way I could get a Stanford jersey, as a coach. … Let’s get some
Even after a lopsided loss, Gonzaga’s coaches and players stayed
on the court long enough to offer their applause.
Coach Kelly Graves considered it an important moment for his
”It’s great that she was honored in front of all the fans here,
the faithful,” Graves said. ”I wanted our team to sit out there
and watch it and appreciate who she is and what she’s done for our
game. You think about 900 wins, that’s 30 a year for 30 years, for
crying out loud. We’ve won 30 one time. It’s incredible what she’s
VanDerveer was cheered when a 900 image featuring her photo
appeared on the main scoreboard during an early timeout, while fans
waved 900 posters throughout the arena. VanDerveer’s mother, Rita,
cheered her accomplishment, too. The top VanDerveer phrases also
were read by players on the video board, along with a postgame
”My mother pulled a fast on me and showed up,” VanDerveer
said. ”I didn’t think much about it. We were down in Mexico, I had
kind of moved on – 900’s a lot of games. I’m kind of thinking back,
`How’d this happen?”’
This was a solid warmup for the Cardinal (8-1) as they returned
for the first time following a 16-day break for final exams, a week
before they host No. 3 Tennessee. Stanford first plays Monday at
home against New Mexico.
Sunny Greinacher scored 18 points to lead the West Coast
Conference favorite Zags (8-2), who had their six-game winning
streak snapped while losing a sixth straight in as many tries
against perennial Pac-12 power Stanford. Gonzaga was coming off
impressive wins against Big Ten opponents Ohio State and
Kailee Johnson hit a pair of 3-pointers and added 11 points for
Stanford in its seventh straight win since a 76-57 defeat at No. 1
Connecticut on Nov. 11. Amber Orrange had 10 points and three
Gonzaga stayed close early and pulled to 6-6 before Stanford
responded with a 15-3 spurt – including 12 unanswered points – and
built a 21-8 lead at the 11:22 mark of the first half.
The Bulldogs hadn’t lost since dropping their only other matchup
against a ranked opponent this season, 82-78 at No. 11 Oklahoma on
Stanford shot 48.1 percent in the opening 20 minutes on the way
to a 33-19 halftime lead and it was never close the rest of the
way. The Zags missed all nine of their first-half 3-point tries and
14 overall to shoot 34 percent.
Stanford junior forward Taylor Greenfield made her season debut
after missing the first eight games with a foot issue and she
underwent treatment for the injury. Her minutes will be limited
A ”Welcome Back” video tribute was held for former Stanford
star Nicole Powell, now a Zags assistant coach, before pregame
introductions. She received a warm standing ovation and waved to
Over the past week, VanDerveer showed her versatility. She
helped Erica McCall prepare for a psychology final.
The coach is eager to see her rotation come together now that
the team is intact.
”This is the healthiest we’ve been,” VanDerveer said. ”We’re
a month away from knowing what our 8-9 player rotation is. We will
never be what I call deli basketball, where people are going in and