Sports


Ogwumike sisters pace Stanford hoops victory

 

If either Nneka Ogwumike or her sister, Chiney Ogwumike, has ever taken a day off for whatever reason, it had to be pretty drastic.

Stanford women's basketball women's basketball coach Tara Van Derveer doesn't need to worry about her two star players. When they play, they take care of business.

It happened again Saturday. The fourth-ranked Cardinal beat visiting Princeton, 85-66, in a nonconference contest. It was Stanford's first game in two weeks due to finals.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 22 points and added 12 rebounds and Chiney finished with 21 points, making 10 of her 11 attempts, and nine rebounds for Stanford (7-1), which extended its homecourt winning streak to 67 games.

That streak could be in jeopardy when sixth-ranked Tennessee visits Maples Pavilion on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game is a sellout.

"If Nneka and Chiney were on their (Princeton) team, we would have gotten blasted," VanDerveer said. "They got after it. We need more people to step up."

A nice idea with the Lady Vols (7-2) coming to town on a five-game winning streak after beating host UCLA, 85-64, on Saturday. Tennessee's last loss was to top-ranked Baylor.

The last time Pat Summitt's team played at Stanford she was disturbed and "embarrassed" following a 15-point loss. This could be about revenge.

As if the Lady Vols needed any more motivation, they will be ranked lower than the Cardinal for the second straight trip into town -- the only two times in 11 meetings at Stanford that will have occurred.

Nneka Ogwumike, fifth in the nation coming in with a 24.0 scoring average, hit long jumpers on each of her first four baskets, which was one of her pet projects during the offseason.

"That's one thing I emphasized this summer with Chiney," Nneka said. "We still do. We come out early and work on our shots. It's all about having confidence in your shot. It's definitely a new part of my dimension."

VanDerveer substituted regularly throughout to keep players fresh. She stuck with the Ogwumike's until both came out with 2:36 to play.

Freshman Taylor Greenfield scored five points during Stanford's 13-4 spurt to open the second half as the Cardinal pulled away. Princeton center Devona Allgood also picked up her fourth foul with 17:19 left, which hurt the Tigers' inside presence against the Ogwumike sisters. Allgood was whistled for her fifth foul with 9:07 remaining and took a seat for good.

Lindy La Rocque returned to Stanford's starting lineup after coming off the bench the previous three games for the Cardinal because of a right foot problem. She made three 3-pointers as Stanford shot just 6-for-22 from long range. Toni Kokenis added 11 points with two 3s for Stanford.

This game was the second meeting between the schools after Stanford beat the Tigers 95-39 at Maples on Nov. 29, 2002.

Princeton assistant Milena Flores played for VanDerveer and helped the Cardinal to the 1997 Final Four. She ranks third in program history for career assists.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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