No. 6 Stanford women hold off No. 3 Tennessee

Bashaara Graves tried to keep Chiney Ogwumike off the boards on

both ends of the court any way she could to no avail.

For a Tennessee team so well accustomed to owning the rebounding

advantage against opponents, Ogwumike’s dominance on the glass made

all the difference in the third-ranked Lady Vols’ 76-70 loss to

sixth-ranked Stanford on Saturday for Tennessee’s first defeat.

Ogwumike had 32 points, a season-best 20 rebounds – 11 on the

offensive end – and three blocks as Stanford held off a late

Tennessee rally.

”Everything I tried to do, I tried to box her out, it just

didn’t work,” Graves said. ”There’s no way she should have had

that many offensive rebounds.”

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer had one simple message for her

players before tipoff that rung true: ”If we rebound, we

win.”

Amber Orrange scored on a left-handed layin and was fouled with

25.8 seconds left and converted the free throw, helping seal the

win.

Andraya Carter’s baseline 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining cut the

Cardinal’s lead to 70-68 but Stanford kept possession with 36

seconds to go on a jump ball in a big break, and Orrange came

through.

Stanford (10-1) has its first three-game winning streak in the

rivalry between perennial national powers.

”It’s going to be a great teaching tape for us when we get back

from break,” Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said.

Ariel Massengale scored 17 points and Meighan Simmons 15 to lead

the Lady Vols (10-1), who were hurt 35.8 percent shooting.

Tennessee has lost its last four matchups at Maples Pavilion

since its last win on Stanford’s home floor on Dec. 4, 2005. The

Lady Vols have lost 13 straight road games against Top 10 teams

dating back to 2008.

The Cardinal held a 24-19 rebounding advantage in the first half

and wound up with a 43-40 edge on the boards – the first time all

season Tennessee has lost in rebounding. The Lady Vols had a 52.1

to 36.3 mismatch on the boards entering the game.

”We’re a very strong rebounding team but we can’t allow

somebody to dominate on the boards like we did Chiney,” Warlick

said.

While Ogwumike did her part with a fourth 30-point game of the

season, she had plenty of support on both ends with teammates

crashing the boards and hustling for loose balls – just the kind of

balance and energy VanDerveer has been calling for from her young

team.

”We didn’t bring that Tennessee pressure we know we’re capable

of playing,” Massengale said. ”We knew we would have to disrupt

them on the offensive end for us to win this game. We did that in

spurts but not for 40 minutes.”

Ogwumike had 18 points and 11 rebounds by halftime and shot 15

for 25 overall for outsized Stanford, which needed a big second

half to hold on for its ninth straight victory.

”I have a great support system,” she said. ”It’s just being

aggressive. It’s those little things.”

After Graves scored to cut the Cardinal’s lead to 38-33 with

18:10 remaining, Orrange and Thompson hit consecutive 3-pointers

for Stanford.

But Massengale then scored five straight points to keep

Tennessee close.

Ogwumike drove the lane for easy layins, converted athletic

putbacks or plain out-jumped Tennessee to catch high lob passes

into the paint before pivoting around to score.

”This game really boiled down to we had Chiney,” VanDerveer

said. ”Chiney had a monster game.”

The Cardinal, who haven’t lost since a 76-57 defeat at No. 1

Connecticut on Nov. 11, have won five of the last eighth meetings

and four of five.

Tennessee, facing just its second ranked team of the season,

missed a chance for its first win over a top-10 opponent since

beating No. 10 Georgia in the Lady Vols’ SEC home opener last Jan.

6.

Stanford snapped Tennessee’s five-game winning streak here last

Nov. 20, 2012, 97-80 loss for the fifth-most points allowed in

program history.

Tennessee began the game 6 for 23 and never recovered despite

making things interesting down the stretch with Simmons taking

charge.

”I thought we got good looks,” Warlick said. ”You’ve got to

make free throws, layups and free throws. If you don’t make those

you’re not going to win games. At crucial times we didn’t make free

throws, and at crucial times we gave up the 3-point shot. Little

things for us got magnified today.”

After Tennessee jumped to a quick 4-0 lead, Stanford then scored

13 unanswered points for a 13-4 lead that forced a Lady Vols

timeout at the 14:54 mark of the opening half. Tennessee missed

seven straight shots over a nearly 3 1/2-minute stretch.

”We don’t give up,” Warlick said. ”We could have really

folded when we got down by 12. For that I’m extremely proud of

them.”