Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - March 16, 2012

Stanford's Neka Ogwumike finalist for Naismith Trophy

Stanford senior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike has been named one of four finalists for the 2012 Naismith Trophy for Women's College Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced Thursday.

Ogwumike is joined by Elena Della Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame) and Brittney Griner (Baylor) on the list of finalists.

This season has been a banner year for Ogwumike, who has powered Stanford to a No. 2 national ranking as well as to the program's 12th straight conference title and 21st in 26 years. Ogwumike was named Pac-12 Player of the Year for the second time in her career, and earned three Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, including a USBWA National Player of the Week honor on Dec. 27.

In addition to the Pac-12 Player of the Year award, Ogwumike was named to the All-Pac-12 Team and All-Defensive Team honorable mention.

Ogwumike was named Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player after averaging 23.7 points and 10.3 rebounds with a 56.3 field-goal percentage over Stanford's three victories. The Cardinal claimed its sixth straight and ninth overall tournament crown.

She leads the Pac-12 with 21.8 points per game and ranks second with 10.5 rebounds a game and an 83.2 free-throw percentage. Her 54.1 field-goal percentage ranks fourth. Ogwumike also ranks in the national Top 15 in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage.

Ogwumike, a consensus national player of the year and All-America candidate since the preseason, is also on the final ballot for the John R. Wooden Award

Ogwumike scored 29 points, including a 3-of- 4 effort from 3-point range, and grabbed 12 rebounds as Stanford beat California, 77-62, Saturday in the championship game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Ogwumike became the all-time scoring leader in Pac-12 tournament history, surpassing former Cardinal All-American Candice Wiggins.

Chiney Ogwumike added 17 points and 13 rebounds and freshman point guard Amber Orrange added 13 points. Joslyn Tinkle added nine points and blocked five shots.

The Cardinal improved to 30-2 in the event that began in 2002. It was its 78th consecutive victory against a Pac-12 opponent.

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