Sports

Nneka grabs Ogwumike family bragging rights in Sparks' win

 

They are best friends and sisters and when it came time to tip off for their first professional basketball head-to-head meeting, it was all about the competition.

Stanford grads Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike were on opposing teams and it was the older sister who prevailed.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the host Connecticut Sun, 90-64, in a WNBA game Sunday.

Chiney Ogwumike went for 18 points and six rebounds for the Sun (9-13).

"I think there were more emotions before tipoff when I realized 'oh I'm actually going to play against Chiney,'" Nneka Ogwumike told the team's website. "It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We're both aggressive and competitive and I thought it was a good matchup."

The former No. 1 overall WNBA draft picks exchanged a pregame hug and guarded each other most of the game.

"I came out really focused. Maybe it's because of the occasion," said Chiney Ogwumike. "Maybe I need to envision everybody I'm going against is my sister from here on out and keep that focus."

Nearly the entire Ogwumike family was in attendance for their first meeting, in which the Sparks pulled away in the third quarter.

Los Angeles (9-11) was up four early in the second half when Nneka Ogwumike made two free throws, followed by a running jumper and the Sparks eventually took a double-digit lead.

Former Stanford greats Candice Wiggins (Sparks) and Kayla Pederson (Sun) were also involved in the contest.

Chiney Ogwumike surpassed Wiggins for the Stanford all-time scoring lead and overtook Pederson for the school and Pac-12 record in all-time rebounds.

In other action, Cardinal grad Jayne Appel scored six points and had seven rebounds but the San Antonio Stars (11-11) fell to the Phoenix Mercury (16-3), 90-61.

For WNBA video of both games, follow this link.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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