Sports

VanDerveer takes big production over tiny miscues

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Tara VanDerveer tends to overlook Nnemkadi Ogwumike's minor mistakes because the senior does so many things well.

Ogwumike committed six of Stanford's 19 turnovers in Sunday's 82-59 victory over visiting UCLA and, well, gosh darn it, she's just so coachable.

"I have enjoyed every minute I've had coaching her," VanDerveer said of her marquee player, who scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the fourth-ranked Cardinal drew closer to clinching at least a tie for its 12th straight conference women's basketball title. "She does so many great things, a couple of turnovers won't bother me."

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Ogwumike also had three assists, three steals and blocked a shot as she once again gave Stanford an overall quality performance.

"I need to learn to quit forcing shots early," said Ogwumike, who was 8 of 16 from the floor.

It's just something else VanDerveer can overlook.

"She has the intangibles," VanDerveer said. "She's a tremendous leader. She gets clobbered and doesn't complain. The rose is so much bigger than the tiny turnover thorn."

Chiney Ogwumike added 19 points for the Cardinal (13-0, 22-1), which won its 19th straight since losing at Connecticut on Nov. 21. Toni Kokenis scored 12 points and Josyln Tinkle added 10 points and nine rebounds.

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"We count every night on Nneka and Chiney," VanDerveer said. "This was a big game for Jos and we had others score and getting assists. To get to where we want to go, we need other people contributing."

Tinkle, who started her eighth game, took the challenge. She made a pair of free throws late in the first half to put Stanford ahead to stay, hit the boards hard and defensively helped limit the production of UCLA's leading scorer, Rebekah Gardner.

"I made a conscious effort to rebound more aggressively," Tinkle said. "I did have to get in there."

Chiney Ogwumike was limited to eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

"I wouldn't necessarily say it changes the dynamics," Nneka Ogwumike said. "I think it helped other people step up. Tink had a great game. When we needed her on the perimeter, she stepped up, and when we needed her down low, she got in there. I think we did a good job of finding each other."

Stanford extended its school record home winning streak to 76 games and 70 against Pac-12 opponents, which includes tournament games.

The Cardinal need one more win or a California loss to clinch at least a share of their 12th consecutive conference title.

UCLA made the Cardinal work during a tight first half. Stanford never led by more than five and the Bruins held early advantages in rebounding and points in the paint.

But the Cardinal went on a 19-6 run _ with 13 points from the Ogwumike sisters _ that spanned both halves to open a 42-32 advantage with 16:23 remaining. UCLA never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

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VanDerveer takes big production over tiny miscues

Uploaded: Sun, Feb 12, 2012, 4:40 pm

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

Tara VanDerveer tends to overlook Nnemkadi Ogwumike's minor mistakes because the senior does so many things well.

Ogwumike committed six of Stanford's 19 turnovers in Sunday's 82-59 victory over visiting UCLA and, well, gosh darn it, she's just so coachable.

"I have enjoyed every minute I've had coaching her," VanDerveer said of her marquee player, who scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the fourth-ranked Cardinal drew closer to clinching at least a tie for its 12th straight conference women's basketball title. "She does so many great things, a couple of turnovers won't bother me."

Ogwumike also had three assists, three steals and blocked a shot as she once again gave Stanford an overall quality performance.

"I need to learn to quit forcing shots early," said Ogwumike, who was 8 of 16 from the floor.

It's just something else VanDerveer can overlook.

"She has the intangibles," VanDerveer said. "She's a tremendous leader. She gets clobbered and doesn't complain. The rose is so much bigger than the tiny turnover thorn."

Chiney Ogwumike added 19 points for the Cardinal (13-0, 22-1), which won its 19th straight since losing at Connecticut on Nov. 21. Toni Kokenis scored 12 points and Josyln Tinkle added 10 points and nine rebounds.

"We count every night on Nneka and Chiney," VanDerveer said. "This was a big game for Jos and we had others score and getting assists. To get to where we want to go, we need other people contributing."

Tinkle, who started her eighth game, took the challenge. She made a pair of free throws late in the first half to put Stanford ahead to stay, hit the boards hard and defensively helped limit the production of UCLA's leading scorer, Rebekah Gardner.

"I made a conscious effort to rebound more aggressively," Tinkle said. "I did have to get in there."

Chiney Ogwumike was limited to eight minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.

"I wouldn't necessarily say it changes the dynamics," Nneka Ogwumike said. "I think it helped other people step up. Tink had a great game. When we needed her on the perimeter, she stepped up, and when we needed her down low, she got in there. I think we did a good job of finding each other."

Stanford extended its school record home winning streak to 76 games and 70 against Pac-12 opponents, which includes tournament games.

The Cardinal need one more win or a California loss to clinch at least a share of their 12th consecutive conference title.

UCLA made the Cardinal work during a tight first half. Stanford never led by more than five and the Bruins held early advantages in rebounding and points in the paint.

But the Cardinal went on a 19-6 run _ with 13 points from the Ogwumike sisters _ that spanned both halves to open a 42-32 advantage with 16:23 remaining. UCLA never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

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