By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
High expectations are nothing new for the Stanford women's basketball team and no one is a harsher critic than themselves. No matter how well the Cardinal seems to play, there's something the team looks to improve.
Kayla Pedersen had 18 points and 10 rebounds and fourth-ranked Stanford downed No. 8 UCLA, 64-38, in a Pac-10 contest Thursday night.
Jeanette Pohlen added 14 points, Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 13 and Chiney Ogwumike recorded 11 rebounds and scored nine points for the Cardinal (6-0, 15-2), which handed UCLA its first conference loss of the season.
"We had a great defensive scheme and the players went out and executed it," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We did a good job on their senior guards."
Stanford won its ninth straight, its 43rd straight against a Pac-10 opponent and its 55th consecutive game at home.
"We're playing well and winning games but it seems like with each game there's one thing we need to work on," Nnemkadi said.
Fifth-year senior Melanie Murphy made her season debut and brought the crowd of 4,288 to their feet with a nifty steal and running jumper in the first half.
"We see how hard see works in practice," Pedersen said. "To get the opportunity to play in her senior year, we're happy for her. We know she will contribute."
Stanford led by 35 points, 56-21, midway through the second half. The Bruins scored 10 straight points and barely made a dent in the double-digit deficit.
In fact, Stanford scored eight points over the final 9:24 and still managed to maintain a big lead.
"We weren't as smart as we should be and we were a little stagnant on offense," Pedersen said. "We turned the ball over too much."
The 15 first-half points scored by UCLA were its fewest of the season. In fact, the Bruins went another 12 minutes into the second half before they exceeded their previous halftime low.
The 23 points the Bruins scored in the second half was thier second-fewest in one half this season.
UCLA went 12 minutes without a field goal, a span that bridged both halves. The Bruins scored their fewest points in a game in three years.
Josh Owens gave Stanford a 2-0 lead in the first minute and then did not score again for another five minutes. By that time, USC took the lead and never looked back.
The Trojans beat Stanford, 65-42, Thursday night in a Pac-10 contest and it wasn't even that close.
Anthony Brown led the Cardinal (3-3, 10-7) with nine points and Owens had eight rebounds. For the weak of heart, it's better not to read on.
Freshman Aaron Bright had the best shooting night for Stanford, making two of his four shot attempts, both from 3-point land. Owens and Jeremy Green were each 2-of-9 from the field, Dwight Powell was 1-of-8 and Jarrett Mann 1-of-6.
Stanford shot 22.2 percent as a team, 16.7 percent from long range. Somehow, with John Gage going 4-of-4 from the foul line, the Cardinal managed to convert 73.3 percent of its free throws.
Stanford travels down I-405 to meet host UCLA in a nationally-televised game Saturday at 11 a.m.