PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – There was no post-900th-win hangover for Tara VanDerveer and the Cardinal on Thanksgiving, as Chiney Ogwumike scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead No. 6/5 Stanford past South Dakota State, 80-60, and capture the 2013 Hardwood Tournament of Hope title.
Ogwumike’s performance over the Cardinal’s 3-0 showing in Puerto Vallarta, in which she averaged 26.0 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 78.0 percent (32-for-41) from the field, earned her tournament MVP honors.
"This was a great trip for us this week, I've think we've grown a lot. We're playing a lot of people, a lot of young people," said Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer. "Now we'll go home and get ready for finals, and Gonzaga, New Mexico and Tennessee."
Stanford (7-1) broke the game open almost midway through the first half. The Cardinal trailed the Jackrabbits 10-8 with 13:11 on the clock before ripping off a 32-9 run to take a 40-19 lead into the break. Ogwumike scored 13 of the Cardinal’s points during the run, including the first seven.
Karlie Samuelson converted a three-point play with 9:29 to go in the half to up the Cardinal lead to nine at 23-14, and fellow freshman Kailee Johnson would hit a pair of 3-pointers to help get the Cardinal lead up to 40-16 with just over a minute to go.
Stanford’s four active freshmen combined to score 30 points Thursday, led by Johnson’s season-high 10. Erica McCall scored nine to go with seven rebounds while Karlie Samuelson had eight and Lili Thompson three.
"It's great to see contributions from other people, Kailee stepped up big today," said VanDerveer, who won her 901st career game Thursday. "Chiney was just awesome. We had some help from other people, but we need some more help. We shot well, and it was good to see Karlie and Bonnie get going."
On the boards Stanford was too much for the Jackrabbits, out-rebounding them 41-27 with Ogwumike and Ruef leading the way with 12 apiece. Ruef also matched her career high with seven assists as the Cardinal passed out 23 as a team.
The Cardinal defense also flexed its muscle, harassing the Jackrabbits into 22 turnovers and making a season-high 14 steals, led by a career-high-matching five from Amber Orrange, who also went 5-for-6 from the field for 13 points on the offensive end of the court.
McCall scored four points during Stanford’s 7-0 run to open the second half, upping the lead to 28 at 47-19. Despite South Dakota State shooting 65.0 percent (13-for-20) from the field and making seven of 10 3-point attempts over the final 20 minutes, the Jackrabbits could only get as close as 18 points with 10:51 left before Stanford pulled away again.