SEATTLE, Wash. – Stanford didn’t find its shooting touch from behind the arc until too late, and Washington kept theirs up over 40 minutes of action as the Huskies upset the third-ranked Cardinal 87-82 Sunday in Seattle.
The loss snapped Stanford’s 21-game winning streak and its 14-game run against the Huskies, dropping the Cardinal to 22-2 overall and 11-1 in Pac-12 play. It was also the Cardinal’s first loss to a Pac-12 team away from Maples Pavilion since dropping a 57-54 decision to California Jan. 18, 2009 in Berkeley, snapping a run of 62 games.
Washington’s 87 points were the most scored against the Cardinal this season, as well as the most by a Pac-12 team since Arizona put up 88 in an 88-83 win over Stanford on Feb. 5, 2004 in Tucson. Five Huskies scored in double digits Sunday, led by 23 points from freshman guard Kelsey Plum and 18 from Mercedes Wetmore. Washington shot 46.9 percent from the field, the highest by a Cardinal opponent this year, and hit nine 3-pointers.
“Washington put on an incredible performance today, and Kelsey Plum I thought had an outstanding game. I can’t believe there’s a better freshman in the country,” said Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Tara VanDerveer. “I hope this loss really helps us, I hope that it gets our team’s attention. We have not played well on this trip and I really feel like we have to use it to our advantage.
“We did not shoot the ball well, and I can live with that, but we did not defend them worth a lick,” VanDerveer added.
The effort overcame a career day from redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef, who set personal bests with 16 points and 22 rebounds, the third-best single-game mark in Stanford history, and 23 points with 14 rebounds from All-American Chiney Ogwumike. The Huskie effort also negated Stanford’s 57-38 rebounding edge.
“This was a great game by Mikaela, with 22 rebounds and scoring 16 points. She was in there really battling, going basically the whole game,” VanDerveer noted. “Chiney didn’t have a ‘Chiney’ game. We needed some shots to go down for her, but [even with] a good double-double I’m not saying that’s her ‘A’ game.”
For Ogwumike her final line reflected her 18th double-double and 21st game of at least 20 points this season.
“We just have to push through. We got outplayed and outshot, but I think we’ll learn a lot from this,” Ogwumike said. “Mikaela did a really good job keeping everyone together. But it’s like Coach said, we were too little, too late. We were motivated to play at the end, but the first 38 minutes or so we were lackadaisical with our offense.”
“Nobody hung their head the entire game, we battled to the very end,” Ruef said. “I think we will learn a lot from this game and learn to play more confidently over 40 minutes. Chiney did a really good job of not letting us get frustrated.”
Stanford trailed by double digits for much of the second half, but a furious rally, featuring Bonnie Samuelson hitting three triples and scoring 11 of her 14 points combined with missed free throws from the Huskies in the final minutes, shaved an 11-point deficit to three at 85-82 with eight seconds to play. The Cardinal nearly got a steal on the ensuing inbounds pass after a free throw from Ogwumike, but a held-ball was called and the possession arrow favored the Huskies.
Washington threw in deep to Aminah Williams, who finished the game with a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double, behind the Cardinal defense, and Ogwumike was called for a flagrant 1 for grabbing Williams’ jersey while trying to stop the clock with a foul. Williams hit both free throws, and with the Huskies retaining possession due to the flagrant, sealed the upset.
The Huskies went just 18-for-31 from the line in the contest, and they went 8-for-18 over the game’s final 1:51 to allow the Cardinal to make it a one-possession game.
Multiple times the Cardinal got to within a possession of the Huskies, but Washington answered with a run each time. Stanford led 4-2 just 1:37 into the game but Washington scored 12 straight points over the next 2:50 to go up 14-4, and never trailed again. Stanford got back to within one at 26-25 with 7:37 left in the half but Plum scored five of Washington’s next seven points to push its lead back to eight.Washington continued to hold off the Cardinal throughout the second half. Stanford got to within two at 48-46 with 15:07 remaining only to surrender a 16-2 run to the Huskies featuring triples from Wetmore and Chantel Osahor,, falling into a 16-point hole with 9:38 to go.