Ogwumike leads No. 6 Stanford women past No. 3 Tennessee

Chiney Ogwumike scored 32 points and recorded a season-high 20 rebounds, 11 on the offensive boards, as the sixth-ranked Stanford women's basketball team beat No. 3 Tennessee, 76-70, Saturday in a nonconference game at Maples Pavilion.

"I woke up very nervous this morning I was so excited," Ogwumike said. "Fortunately I have the greatest big sister (former Stanford All-American Nnemkadi Ogwumike) to call for help. She told me to think of something that makes me happy. So I thought about playing with her."

Lili Thompson scored 14 points and Taylor Greenfield added 11 for the Cardinal (10-1), which beat the Lady Vols for the third time in succession, a first in the 31-game series dating to the late 80s.

"Lili is very poised and made big shots and worked hard on defense," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We need other people to step up for us. Chiney had a monster game but we need others to contribute."

Stanford travels to Fresno State next Saturday at 6 p.m. in its final tune-up before conference play opens.

The Cardinal made one field goal in the final 4:54 of the game, allowing Tennessee to make it interesting.

Andraya Carter hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left to play to bring the Lady Vols within 70-68.

Amber Orrange, who finished with nine points and five assists, hit a key driving layup and hit the subsequent free throw with 25.8 seconds remaining to give Stanford a five-point edge and the victory.

Stanford beat the Lady Vols a fourth straight time at home. Tennessee, which was off to its best start in five years, last beat the Cardinal in Maples Pavilion in 2005.

"For us it was a really big win," VanDerveer said. "But we still need to get better, and in three months we will be better."

Ogwumike had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the first half.

"She's an All-American and she played like it," Lady Vols' guard Ariel Massengale said. "We didn't pressure the guards enough to help our posts."

Mikaela Ruef added eight points, eight rebounds and was 6 of 8 from the foul line. She hit several key free throws down the stretch.

Tennessee drew within 44-40 when Massengale hit a 3-pointer with 16:03 remaining to play in the game, but the Cardinal responded with a nice run, emphasized by a Thompson 3-pointer to regain a 10-point advantage with 11:02 left.

Stanford slept through the first minute of play before exploding with 13 straight points. Ogwumike had eight of them.

"She's heck of a player," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "She's the heart and soul of that team. She doesn't take a possession off and she works hard. She's a force inside we had trouble with all day long."

The Cardinal missed their first two shots before hitting seven in a row and building a 12-point advantage with 7:42 to play in the first half.

The Lady Vols pulled within five points near the end of the first half and seemingly grabbed the momentum.

Greenfield hit a 3-pointer from the corner as the buzzer sounded, though, giving Stanford a 37-29 edge heading into intermission.

"That 3 was a killer," Warlick said.

Tennessee found itself down at halftime for the third time this season, coming back to win twice, which included overcoming a 12-point deficit against Middle Tennessee State in early November.

The Lady Vols have shot better in the second half in all but two games, though they shot 67 percent in the first half of their last contest.


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