Ogwumike leads Stanford women to rout of Fresno St

Stanford was late coming back from its holiday break – or so it

seemed throughout the sluggish first half against Fresno State.

Then, the No. 4 Cardinal shook off the Bulldogs 86-54 on

Saturday night in their final nonconference game.

”Even though we started off slow, we wanted to pick up where we

left off,” said Stanford guard Amber Orrange, who had 15 points,

six assists and three steals.

Where Stanford (11-1) had left off was a signature win over

then-No. 3 Tennessee, 76-70 on Dec. 21. After a six-day break, the

Cardinal initially looked like a team that was either rusty from

the extended time off or disinterested by the unranked

opponent.

Either way, the Cardinal let the Bulldogs (6-5) make a game of

it in the first 10 minutes. Stanford briefly trailed twice, and was

only ahead 22-18 before pulling away for a 43-31 halftime lead.

Stanford held the Bulldogs scoreless for 5 minutes, but missed

seven straight shots and one free throw before reeling off 11

straight points. The Cardinal shot just 4 of 15 from the field

during the run to a 33-18 lead with under 6 minutes left in the

first half.

”I don’t think we played really well,” Stanford coach Tara

VanDerveer said. ”We’re still trying to find ourselves. We have

people not making shots they have to make, not being aggressive

enough.”

Orrange and Chiney Ogwumike more than countered anyone else’s

early struggles.

Orrange scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half. After

halftime, she guarded Fresno State point guard Taylor Thompson –

who scored 11 points in the first half – and held her to two points

the rest of the way.

Ogwumike scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half, and

finished with 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the

season.

”We opened the game well,” Fresno State coach Raegan Pebley

said. ”But to beat a team like Stanford, you’ve got to play every

possession. You’ve got to play well every minute of the game.”

Stanford ran away from Fresno State with a 16-2 run in the first

8-plus minutes of the second half, allowing just two free throws in

the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second half.

That allowed VanDerveer to sit her two star players and empty

her bench and get nine players into double-digit playing minutes –

and 11 players on the scoreboard – as Stanford rolled to its 10th

straight victory.