You won't get much argument if you were to offer that Stanford senior Jeanette Pohlen is one of the country's top guards. These days it may not be a stretch to suggest her being the best guard in the country.
Fearless, determined and competitive, Pohlen shakes off mistakes like dust and just keeps after it. She handles the ball, she shoots it, she has a nose for it and she has an uncanny way of finding the open shooter.
Pohlen scored 21 points and recorded a career-high 12 assists as the fourth-ranked Cardinal women's basketball team beat visiting USC, 95-51, Saturday afternoon in Pac-10 Conference action in Maples Pavilon.
Chiney Ogwumike added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Stanford (7-0, 16-2), which won its 10th straight overall and its 56th consecutive home contest. It's also the 44th straight win over a Pac-10 opponent.
Pohlen leads Stanford with 297 points, 600 minutes, 49 three-pointers, 89 assists and 29 steals. She has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.7-to-1, is the only Cardinal to start all 18 games and averages 33.3 minutes a game.
Pohlen makes 43 percent of her long-range shots and 90 percent of her foul shots. She averages 16.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game. That's the resume of a first-team All-American guard.
Ask her about it and she'll deflect the praise, just like a team player.
"We're definitely moving in the right direction toward what we want to do at the end of the season," said Pohlen, preferring a team title over individual accolades. "We're here to win a national championship; we're not here to mess around."
She said that last part before last year's NCAA championship loss to Connecticut, and yet it still applies. Pohlen plays like it's on her shoulders.
Kayla Pedersen scored 16 points and Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 14 as Stanford continued to close in on its longest unbeaten run at home in school history. Should the Cardinal win three more at home without losing, it would match the 59 in a row accomplished from Nov. 25, 1994, through March 14, 1998.
Stanford shot 52.1 percent against USC, held a 54-36 rebounding advantage and didn't commit a turnover until 6:38 left in the first half when Sarah Boothe, who scored 11 points and had nine rebounds, grabbed an offensive rebound and was whistled for traveling.
The Cardinal led 67-38 at halftime and coach Tara VanDerveer used her bench for much of the game's final 10 minutes.
Stanford freshman guard Toni Kokenis, who had five steals on Thursday, did not dress after getting struck in the head in the closing minutes of the UCLA game. She experienced slight headaches Friday and didn't practice. She's expected to return in time for games at Oregon and Oregon State this week.