Short road trip leads to big Pac-10 hoops win for Stanford women


After handing two of the top five nationally ranked teams a loss last week at home, the Stanford women's basketball team needed a reminder to play just as hard on the road.

The ninth-ranked Cardinal didn't have to travel far and showed up ready to ride the wave of momentum, beating host California, 78-45, in the Pac-10 opener Sunday.

"We were extremely focused and concentrated just like we had been this past week," Stanford senior Kayla Pedersen said. "This was a big game for us coming off of this tough week. No matter who we were playing we wanted to come out strong. Going into the game all of the starters wanted to make a statement from the get-go. I think we did a decent job doing that."

Try a 15-4 start in the first 4:06 of the contest. Stanford (1-0, 10-2) also held the Bears scoreless in the final five minutes of the half and out things into cruise control.

Jeanette Pohlen scored 15 points, one of five Cardinal players to reach double figures. Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 14 points and seven rebounds before leaving with a shoulder injury early in the second half.

Pohlen was named the Pac-10 Women;s basketball player of the week after leading Stanford to three wins in the week.

She averaged 21.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, highlighted by a 31-point, nine-rebound and six-assist effort when Stanford ended top-ranked Connecticut's NCAA record 90-game winning streak with a 71-59 win at Maples Pavilion on Thursday night after pounding No. 4 Xavier, 89-52, two days earlier.

"We were saying the week is not over," said Pohlen. "We have been playing well the past couple of games and we couldn't let up now. We just kept doing what we do and focused on what we want to do offensively and defensively and made the main focus about us."

Stanford returns home this week for games against Arizona at 7 p.m. Thursday and Arizona State at 2 p.m. Saturday.

After losing at DePaul and Tennessee, the Cardinal made a swift and, nearly, complete recovery, highlighted by Tara VanDerveer winning her 800th career game at San Francisco, and beating the Musketeers, Huskies and Bears.

"I'm really proud of our team coming out with the week we've had. People could have been flat and they weren't," VanDerveer said. "That's a credit to the leadership of Jeanette, Kayla and Nneka and just how competitive they are."

Ogwumike hit the floor after a hard foul from Cal's DeNesha Stallworth. She made the field goal but was unable to take the free throw. Ogwumike was treated for a sore right shoulder and headaches. She will be re-evaluated after returning to Stanford.

Josyln Tinkle made the ensuing foul shot and added a couple of baskets of her own. Freshman Toni Kokenis added 12 points and three assists in 17 minutes. Pedersen had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Chiney Ogwumike added 11 points and seven boards.

The Cardinal scored 21 points on Cal's 15 turnovers and were able to score almost at will from inside.

One game after holding Huskies' All-American Maya Moore to 14 points on 5-for-15 shooting, Stanford held Stallworth, Cal's top scorer, to two points on 0-of-2 shooting. She entered the game averaging 16.7 points.

Stanford led, 37-18, at halftime.

In other Pac-10 games Sunday:

UCLA (2-0, 12-1) romped past host Washington State, 80-55; Arizona State (2-0, 11-2) edged visiting Oregon State (0-2, 7-6), 67-65; and USC (2-0, 10-3) defeated host Washington (0-2, 5-6) 60-51.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by Been waitin' a long time...
a resident of another community
on Jan 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I've been a women's basketball fan for decades, and in particular, a Stanford women's basketball fan, and I'm thinking this team could be one of the best EVER. If the players stay healthy (knock on wood!) AND every player works hard, this team could be unstoppable. Good work, ladies!!! Not quite clicking on all cylinders yet, but if you do, look out! :)

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