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Early Run Carries Cardinal
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 01/05/2014

Stanford had never lost to Oregon State in 27 meetings at Maples Pavilion prior to Sunday, and made sure that the winning continued the trend as the fourth-ranked Cardinal used a 29-4 game-opening run to beat the Beavers 89-67.

Freshman Lili Thompson scored a season-high 19 points and matched season bests with five rebounds and five assists, while Chiney Ogwumike posted her sixth 30-point game and 10th double-double of the season, finishing with 31 points and 13 rebounds. The pair combined for 24 of the Cardinal’s 29 points over the opening 8:29, and 36 of Stanford’s 50 first-half points.

“We just kind of jumped on them. We got them down, threw a knockout punch right off the bat and they had to play catch-up the rest of the game,” said Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Tara VanDerveer.

“We had a great game from Lili. She’s a basketball player. She’s smart, she passes, defends, scores, is vocal, and we’re excited about how she’s doing,” VanDerveer added.

VanDerveer went on to credit the play of redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef, who finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists over 35 minutes, for paving the way for the Cardinal’s run.

“We were able to [jump on Oregon State] because we had a great game from Mikaela. She was so smart defensively, and worked real hard rebounding and scoring,” VanDerveer noted.

The Beavers won the opening tip and got a layup from Ali Gibson for the game’s first points, but the Cardinal defense clamped down, holding Oregon State scoreless for the next 5:27. Samantha Siegner hit a jumper to make it 19-4, but again the Beavers went through another drought, going another 3:06 before Deven Hunter accounted for their next points from the free throw line.

Thompson answered Gibson’s opening bucket with a 3-pointer just 11 seconds later, followed by a jumper from Ogwumike and a triple from Sara James to start a 19-0 run. Ogwumike scored 10 points during that run, six of them coming on jumpers outside the paint. She went 5-for-9 during the run as Oregon State packed the paint with Hunter and 6-6 sophomore center Ruth Hamblin, and despite going just 13-for-28 from the field still fought her way to another 30-point game.

“They forced Chiney away from the paint and she responded with a really good pull-up shot from the perimeter,” VanDerveer said.

“Playing against someone that tall is tough, we did it last year against Brittney Griner,” Ruef added about playing against the athletic Hamblin. “All of our posts have been working on our outside shots, so Chiney was ready to knock down her shot when [Hamblin] was on her. When you’re making shots from the outside it gets contagious.”

Ruef went 4-for-8 from the field to complement Ogwumike in the mid-range Sunday.

The Cardinal lead got all the way to 34-9 with 8:15 to go in the half before Oregon State began to recover from its scoring slump. The Beavers scored 15 points over six straight possessions to make it a 45-28 game, and went into the break trailing by 20 at 50-30.

The teams traded baskets for the opening minutes of the second half, as Oregon State hung around, preventing the Cardinal from running away with things. Sydney Wiese, who finished the game with 15 points, and Siegner, who finished with 11, brought the Beavers as close to 13 points of Stanford with 6:09 to play, but the Cardinal responded with six straight points, four from Ogwumike, to push its lead to 82-63 at the 3:27 mark and ice the game.
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