One game remains to complete the first half of Pac-12 Conference play and the Stanford women's basketball team already has started to pull away from the rest of the league.
The fourth-ranked Cardinal beat visiting USC, 86-59, on Monday night for its 18th consecutive victory as senior Chiney Ogwumike continued her assault on the Stanford and Pac-12 record books.
Ogwumike scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Stanford beat up on the second-place Trojans.
The Cardinal (8-0, 19-1) has other important conference games this week, hosting California (6-2, 14-5) on Thursday at 8 p.m. and then traveling to Berkeley on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game against the Golden Bears.
Stanford's margin of victory in conference games is 25.2, with Colorado coming the closest, 87-77. The Cardinal beat USC by 27, days after the Trojans beat Cal, 77-70.
USC (7-2, 14-7) will remain in second place at least until it hosts Washington State on Friday.
Stanford can send the Bears, who reached the Final Four last year, into the middle of the pack with a pair of victories.
"It's more than that," Ogwumike said. "It's a Bay Area rivalry and it will be an exciting game, a fun game."
Ruef also had a double-double for the Cardinal, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson each added 12 points and Karlie Samuelson had 10 for Stanford, which won its 13th straight from the Trojans.
"It's very big for our team," Ruef said about the team's scoring versatility this season. "I think what happened last year was we depended too much on Chiney. Chiney still had 30 points today, but with five players scoring in double figures it takes some of the pressure off of her.
"If we have other people scoring, (opponents) can't really double off of other guards, or me," Ruef added.
Ogwumike, third in the nation in scoring, had at least 30 points for the 10th time this season, an on-going Stanford record. She also recorded her 15th double-double.
"I keep telling people this: my teammates are the No. 1 reason I finish," Ogwumike said. "Especially this girl (Ruef)."
While Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer enjoys the contributions of a number of players -- 10 different players have reached double figures in scoring -- she's also quick to note how the Cardinal can improve.
"We have to do a better job of rebounding," she said. "We need to be more aggressive grabbing the ball."
Orrange, who leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio, collected six more assists without a turnover against the Trojans. Thompson, who recorded her fourth consecutive double-digit game, had three assists and three turnovers.
"We have to continue to improve our guard play," VanDerveer said. "But we have great leadership on this team. A lot of it has to do with me putting in the right people at the right time."
The Trojans had won nine of their previous 10 games, with the lone loss in overtime at then No. 23 Arizona State. But, USC never got closer than 16 points in the second half against Stanford.
"(Against UCLA Friday) Coach said we waited until we got a bloody nose before we joined the fight, so this game we knew we had to be more aggressive from the get-go," Ogwumike said.
Deanna Calhoun hit a jumper with 10:15 left in the first half to bring the Trojans within 23-20.
USC went cold for the next seven minutes, missing 11 consecutive field goal attempts and two free throws as the Cardinal built a 37-20 advantage.
Alexyz Vaioletama ended the shooting drought with 3:06 left, just over a minute after Crook, who went for 34 points in the Trojans win over California on Friday, hit a pair of free throws.