It only seems easy because the fourth-ranked Stanford women's basketball team does its homework and puts in the time for extra credit.
Midway through the Pac-10 Conference race, the Cardinal is earning all 'A's' for effort, production and maintaining the mathematical edge on all of its tests.
Senior Kayla Pedersen scored a top grade in Stanford's 74-44 victory over host Oregon State Saturday afternoon. She scored a season-high 21 points to help the Cardinal earn its 12th consecutive victory overall, its 45th straight over a Pac-10 opponent and its 22nd straight against the Beavers.
Perhaps that midterm road trip through Chicago and Nashville shot a dose of adrenaline into Stanford's study habits. With all the research being done these days, Cardinal players plan to ace the final.
Of course, the final exam is still more than a month away. There's still the remainder of the conference schedule, and, more specifically, Thursday night's 5:30 p.m. game at Arizona State.
Jeanette Pohlen added 15 points, hitting five 3-pointers, while Chiney Ogwumike and Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Cardinal (9-0,18-2).
"I think right now we're playing pretty well together and for each other," Pohlen said. "One thing about our team is we stick together no matter what. It's a special team and hopefully we'll keep it going through the second half."
Stanford has won all nine conference games by 26 points or more and is averaging 35-point wins in the Pac-10.
Oregon State limited the Cardinal to its second-fewest points in conference play, to UCLA's 64.
The Ogwumike sisters scored the first six points of the contest. Lindy La Rocque and Pohlen followed with a 3-pointer and the Beavers needed over five minutes to make their first field goal.
By that time the game was already out of reach. The Beavers closed within five at the 11:56 mark of the first half but that proved a pyrrhic victory as Stanford responded with 13 unanswered points and Oregon State never got any closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
Stanford tied a season-high for 3-pointers with 11, including seven in the first half, four of them from Pohlen.
"Jeanette is having an All-American year," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Then there's our inside game with Chiney and 'Nneka. Kayla Pedersen has just been our steady-rock player. Those four, and then whoever we put with them."
Stanford later scored seven straight points and led 39-19 at halftime. The Cardinal scored the first nine points of the second half to go ahead 48-19. Oregon State got no closer than 26 from there.
Mikaela Ruef, who came off the bench, led Stanford with eight rebounds. La Rocque paced the Cardinal with six assists.