Uploaded: Sunday, November 13, 2011, 5:46 PM
Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011, 10:22 PM
Nneka Ogwumike in successful season debut
|By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Nnemkadi Ogwumike missed a chance to play in front of her family. She wasn't going to miss her first chance to play in front of her home crowd.
Ogwumike finished with 33 points and 18 rebounds and fifth-ranked Stanford opened its home season with a resounding 76-61 victory over visiting Gonzaga, the same team it beat in the Elite Eight last year.
The preseason All-American sat out Friday night's win at Texas with an upper body injury. In her first game of the season, Ogwumike had a double-double by halftime.
"When I go out there the only thing I think about is the team and what we need to do," Ogwumike said. "The first half is not the way we wanted it. We missed a lot of shots and we weren't getting the rebounds from those shots. We weren't getting back on defense quick enough but we did a good job of adjusting."
Gonzaga, the seven-time defending WCC champions, showed plenty in the first half, outscoring Stanford 18-7 over the last 6:05 to take a 32-31 lead into the intermission.
Sophomore Toni Kokenis, who finished with 14 points, hit a 3-pointer with 13:04 remaining to play to highlight a 20-9 start to the second half, putting Stanford in charge. The Ogwumike sister scored the first 16 points of the run.
Chiney Ogwumike added 19 points for the Cardinal (2-0), who extended their home winning streak to 64, now entering its fifth season.
"We are a new, different team," Chiney said. "Every day is a challenge. I think we learned a lot from this game."
Stanford hosts Old Dominion in a nonconference game Thursday at 7 p.m. before heading out on the road to take on Connecticut and Xavier.
"If we want to keep improving we need more help from other people," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We need to start out more aggressive."
VanDerveer was honored after the game for her induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Rachel Williams and Carly Wopat combined for 29 kills and a hitting percentage of .490 as third-ranked Stanford beat host Washington State, 25-23, 25-11, 19-25, 25-15, in a Pac-12 match Sunday.
The Cardinal (14-5, 20-5) remain in fourth place in the conference, with three matches remaining, heading into Friday night's match with visiting Oregon at 7 p.m. USC (17-2, 22-4) tops the standings, followed by UCLA (16-3, 23-4) and California (15-4, 25-4).
Williams had 16 kills, with one error, on 33 attacks while Wopat added 13, with an error, on 22 total attacks. Williams, who leads the conference with 16 double-doubles, also had a team-high 13 digs and Wopat recorded seven blocks.
Freshman libero Kyle Gilbert recorded three service aces to go with eight digs and a pair of assists. Karissa Cook had 47 assists and 10 digs. Hannah Benjamin added another 10 digs.
Men's water polo
Freshman Alex Bowen scored five goals and No. 4 Stanford beat visiting UC Davis, 12-7, in a nonconference contest Sunday.
Sacred Heart Prep grad Paul Rudolph scored twice for the Cardinal (18-4), which won itrs ninth in 10 games. Senior goalie Brian Pingree made nine saves.
Stanford hosts California in the Big Splash at 5:15 p.m. Saturday.
Women's cross country
Not that anyone was worried about it, but it became official Sunday when Stanford was awarded an at-large bid into the NCAA championships, which will be contested on Monday, Nov. 21 in Terre Haute.
The Cardinal finished third in Saturday's NCAA West Regional on the Stanford golf course. The top two finishers are automatically entered in the national meet.
Stanford grabbed one of the 13 at-large bids, as did Oregon, which finished fourth, and fifth-place finisher California.
Stanford cruised to the fall Pacific Coast Conference two-day championship finishing in the top-three in a combined 21 of 24 races for 59 points to easily outdistance host UC Santa Barbara's second place 80 points.
Taking home wins in six of eight races was the B Division skippered by Kevin Laube and joined by Kelly Ortel who scored 10 points.
The A Division team of Mateo Vargas and Tally Buckstaff combined for 19 points, winning another four races and finishing second, third, fourth and sixth the other half of its races.
The laser division sailed by Kieran Chung-Wolf after placing 16 of 22 to start, was third or better the rest of the way, finishing with 30 points.
Stanford hosts the Big Sail on Tuesday at St. Francis Yacht Club on the San Francisco Bay at noon.
Stanford opened the Pac-12 season with a 28-9 victory over visiting Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday.
The Cardinal (1-0, 4-1) wrestle Central Michigan and host Chattanooga next Sunday.
Ryan Mango won his match at 133 pounds by a 19-9 margin while heavyweight Dan Scherer won his match, 10-3.
Timmy Boone, Matt Schneider, Nick Amuchastegui, Spence Parker and Alan Yen also recorded victories.
— Palo Alto Online Sports
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