March 2, 2013
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Winning conference titles has become routine for Stanford.
Chiney Ogwumike had 28 points and 13 rebounds in the Cardinal's 72-50 rout of Washington State on Saturday that clinched a share of the Pac-12 title for the 13th straight season.
"It's great, I owe it to my players," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said on winning another championship.
The Cardinal celebrated the title in the locker room, posing for photos with the Pac-12 trophy in championship t-shirts. They finished in a tie with California atop the conference after the Golden Bears beat Washington State later Saturday. It's the first time since 2004 that Stanford has not won the regular season conference title outright. The Cardinal shared the title with Arizona that year.
Ogwumike has been a huge part of the Cardinal success this year - as well as the past two.
The junior All-America broke Stanford's single season rebound record with (389).
"I was surprised, I don't go into a game trying to break records, I just try to come in and play aggressive, but those things don't happen without teammates, that put me in great positions to score and rebound," Ogwumike said. "I told them go out and play defense and I will rebound."
"Chiney is amazing, she is a great player and an even better person, she is a leader and a very special person to coach, she does so many things on the court rebounds, steals, blocks," VanDerveer said.
Sister Nnemkadi Ogwumike held the previous rebound record (376) in the 2009-10 season.
Ogwumike scored 22 points in the first half to give Stanford (28-2, 17-1 Pac-12) a comfortable 35-21 lead at the half. The Cardinal opened the second half with a 13-4 run 48-25. Washington State ( 10-19, 6-12) tried to make adjustments at the half, but could not find an answer for Ogwumike.
"What can you say about Chiney, she is so difficult to guard, she scores and rebounds and gets knocked around.. And she does it all with a smile on her face," Washington State coach June Daugherty said. "We call her the smiling assassin."
Stanford would extend the lead to 30, 63-33 at the ten minute mark and put the game out of reach as the Cougars struggled to score.
The Cardinal defense smothered Washington State. The Cougars shot only 25 percent from the field and went 1-14 from the 3-point line.
Washington State's Ireti Amojo would hit the Cougars only 3-pointer of the night with 20 seconds on the clock.
"We struggled tonight on offense, and that is because Sanford is a great defensive team, they play physical and we got pushed around tonight and couldn't score," Daugherty said. "We will need to play a lot more physical in order to compete in the Pac-12 tournament."
Stanford held Freshmen guard Lia Galdeira to only eight points and seven rebounds. Galdeira leads the nation in scoring as freshmen at 14.9 ppg.
Stanford's defense scored 16 points off 14 Cougar turnovers and held all the Cougars to single digit scoring.
Stanford shot 42 percent from the field for the game (24-57).