The fourth-ranked Stanford women's basketball team has never lost to Washington State. The Cardinal wasn't about to set any precedents as its involvement in the Pac-12 Conference tournament started Friday night.
Chiney Ogwumike recorded her second 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season, Sara James set a career high with five 3-pointers and Stanford moved into a semifinal match with Colorado with its 79-60 victory over the Cougars at Key Arena in Seattle.
"I was just excited to be playing," Ogwumike said. "Our team was eager, especially when it comes to March. I'm proud of the way the team responded, especially in the second half."
Ogwumike had a double-double with seven minutes remaining to play in the first half. She finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds, in addition to four assists and four blocked shots. She had 27 points and 24 rebounds against Oregon.
"Coach wants to rest me as much as possible during the tournament because of the three games in three days but it's just too exciting when you're out here," Ogwumike said. "I love playing with my teammates. We had a lot of fun out there, so it was great."
James scored 14 of her 17 points, one shy of her career best, in the second half and Joslyn Tinkle had 10 points as the Cardinal (29-2) won its 15th straight, and beat Washington State a 55th consecutive time.
Mickaela Ruef also contributed to the overall effort with eight points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Ogwumike was no match for the young Cougars, who tried to double team her and limit her touches. She made six of her seven first-half shots and was five of seven from the foul line. She grabbed 12 of her rebounds in the first 20 minutes as well.
"I think we got the kinks out today, especially in the first half," Ogwumike said. "We finally got into a flow later in the game."
The Cardinal took a 35-23 lead at the break, thanks to a late steal and layup from Ogwumike. She did not score the first seven minutes of the second half but thanks to James, Stanford led by as many as 21 late in the game.
"I liked how our bench was really into it and came in and made some good contributions," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Sara James was unbelievable but she's worked really hard. We'll be ready to play tomorrow and it will be different people to step up."
Washington State coach June Daugherty was able to rejoin her team for Friday's contest after missing the Cougars' first-round win due to emergency appendicitis. She sat behind the bench while her husband Mike was the lead coach for the second straight night.