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Stanford Beats Washington State in 1st Round of Pac-12 Tournament

Just a quick blog about the Stanford Women’s Basketball team playing in the Pac-12 tournament, because with three games in three days, C and R have to pace themselves. Stanford played Washington State in their opening game with predictable results. They won 79-60, a repeat of the last regular season game. A lucky WSU basket with 5 seconds left is the only reason WSU broke 60.

Cal also won, although they will next play UCLA. UCLA plays a physical game like Cal, so should be an interesting match up. If any team can beat Cal before the inevitable championship game with Stanford, it would be UCLA. Unfortunately for Stanford, UCLA s banged up and not at full strength.

Chiney Ogwumike scores 23 and grabs 21 rebounds
Even triple-teamed, Chiney Ogwumike scores 23 and grabs 21 boards (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
First, just as you can’t have a game without an Ogwumike losing a contact, you can’t write a Stanford Women’s Basketball story this year without first mentioning All-Everything Chiney Ogwumike. She continues to impress and breaks records.

Chiney Ogwumike had a double-double by half time, with 17 points and 12 rebounds at the break. In fact, she ended the first half with a nifty steal and went coast-to-coast for the lay in to bring Stanford up 35-23. Chiney would end up with 23 points and 21 rebounds for the game. It was her second career 20-20 game. It was the first time in Pac-12 tournament history a player had a 20-20 game. It was also a single-game rebounding record. And, there was a stretch of seven and a half minutes to start the second where she was scoreless.

Chalk up four assists, so it is nice to see Chiney can also pass when double or tripled teamed. One was especially purty when Sara James threw a ball half the distance of the court to a Stanford three on none. Chiney caught it and whipped it behind her back to her twin, Tinkle for the easy lay in. Even coach Tara VanDerveer cracked a smile at that one.

Also breaking records was Sara James, starting in place of injured Toni Kokenis (no, we don’t know what her injury is, we are as clueless as you). Sara made a career high five 3-pointers for 17 points, and scored 14 in the second half alone. It’s nice to see when Chiney is struggling, Stanford can have others step up, and in this case, hit from the outside.

Joslyn Tinkle would add ten points, all in the second half. Wish she could consistently score throughout the game. But maybe when you have an Ogwumike scoring inside, you want to watch. Or feed her. Stanford did have 20 assists to WSU’s ten. Mikalea Ruef had a team high seven, one more than guard Amber Orrrrange.

Three-point specialist Bonnie Samuelson hit three 3-pointers. She also took one charge, hitting the ground, although she looks so small and frail, it does not take much contact to knock her to the ground, we noticed. Prophetic words, she got knocked to the ground a second time on a rebound and as she fell straight back, she did not break her fall or pull her chin to her chest. He head went straight back and whammed the floor hard. She was taken to the bench and did not return. That looked an awful lot like a concussion to us. Hope she is okay and we wish her well.

Still Stanford was up by 17 in the first and then had sloppy play and let WSU come back within nine. Stanford also had 16 turnovers to WSU’s nine. Stanford needs to tighten up for the next two games. They will play the winner of Colorado and Washington. Then, if Stanford wins, they play the winner of Cal-UCLA.

Coach VanDerveer praised Chiney Ogwumike’s game, of course, but said she was disappointed in their defense. She also liked how Sara James knocked down her outside shots and said other swill step up tomorrow. We will see who it is.

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