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Mikaela Ruef's career-high performance helps Stanford to the Final Four

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People are seizing upon the opportunity to praise Chiney Ogwumike's supporting cast for their Elite Eight win against North Carolina, but let's not go overboard here: as C&R have noted in their summary of the game from Maples, the turning point was Ogwumike's total dominance of the paint in the second half that the Tar Heels simply never found an answer for.

However, that doesn't negate fellow senior Mikaela Ruef's role in getting the win.

Give an assist to older sister Nneka Ogwumike giving Chiney a pep talk at the half, too. Also keeping Stanford in the game was Mikaela Ruef, the fifth year senior who did not want to remember last year’s loss in the Sweet Sixteen. She hit three 3-pointers, a career high. She has never hit more than one in a game before. Before this game, her career total for threes was seven for all five years. She scored a career-high 17 and grabbed nine rebounds...Mikaela Ruef does the things not noticed in the box score. Someone must have noticed, though because she was awarded the regional MVP. A shocker it was not Chiney, but we are sure Chiney does not mind Ruefie picking up some hardware.

For Ruef, that was something of a storybook ending to her five-year career at Maples: after doing all the little things to help Stanford dominate the Pac-12 for years, she finally received some much-deserved recognition to the delight of just about anyone who has followed her tenure with the team.

For more on the game, check out C&R's recap. For more on Stanford's path to the Final Four, check out our Stanford region storystream.