Sports

Stanford women keeping winning, but just barely

 

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Freshman Toni Kokenis made her only basket of Stanford's 62-52 victory over Washington the biggest one of the game.

Kokenis hit a 3-pointer 16 seconds after the Huskies had pulled within two points of the third-ranked Stanford women's basketball and the Cardinal (13-0, 21-2) avoided the Pac-10 Conference upset Saturday.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 22 points and had nine rebounds, Chiney Ogwumike added 21 points and 10 rebounds as Stanford survived its worst shooting half of the season, making 24 percent of their attempts in the first half.

The Cardinal led, 24-18, at the intermission, its second-lowest output of any half of the year to the 23 points Utah allowed in the first half.

"This is exactly the type of game we needed right now," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I'm not saying I want to beg for it, but it gets people's attention about playing a team for a second time."

VanDerveer hopes the lessons are learned well as Stanford travels to USC for a game Friday and then plays at UCLA in a televised game Sunday. The Bruins' lone conference loss was at Stanford; the Women of Troy are tied for third place.

"I couldn't ask for a better game heading into the L.A. trip," VanDerveer said. "This helps us a lot more."

Kokenis made Stanford's only long-range shot. Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen were a combined 0-for-14 from 3-point range and the Cardinal was a combined 1-of-21.

Washington's Kristi Kingma, who finished with 22 points, was 5-of-9 from long range and made a pair of free throws with 5:41 remaining to pull Washington within 49-47 of the Cardinal.

After Kokenis hit her shot, Stanford maintained its slim lead the rest of the way.

The Huskies had four players foul out and turned the ball over 21 times and still managed to give Stanford its best conference contest to date. Washington was 10-of-17 from the floor in the second half and shot just over 45 percent for the game.

Stanford made 23 of its 33 foul shots to keep its distance. The Cardinal missed 14 of its first 16 field goal attempts and never really warmed up. The Ogwumike sisters were 14-of-22 from the field, meaning the rest of the roster was a combined 5-of-30.

"Offensively we couldn't hit our shots," Nnemkadi Ogwumike said. "There will be days like that but it doesn't happen often. We have to find different ways to score."

Stanford outscored the Huskies, 25-4, in points off turnovers and had a 17-10 edge in second-chance points thanks to 18 offensive rebounds (along with 18 defensive boards).

Pedersen had 13 points, not allowing her shot from the field affect her form at the foul line, where she was 7-of-8.

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