LOS ANGELES, Calif. – There will be no sharing of the Pac-12 regular-season title this year, as the Cardinal proved that reports of the demise of its hold on the Pac-12 were greatly exaggerated in Sunday’s 65-56 win at UCLA which clinched the outright conference crown.
Chiney Ogwumike posted her 20th double-double of the season with 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Mikaela Ruef grabbed 11 boards and Amber Orrange scored 13 points to help the Cardinal (26-2, 15-1 Pac-12) overcome a cold start Sunday. For Ogwumike and Ruef, it marked the 10th time this season that each player had grabbed at least 10 rebounds in a game, as the pair combined for 26 of Stanford’s 41 rebounds.
Stanford took the lead for good at 27-25 on a pair of Ogwumike free throws with a minute left in the first half, and with the lead holding at two at 40-38 with 13:50 to go in the game, the Cardinal used a 16-4 run over the next five minutes to open a 14-point cushion at 56-42.
Ruef converted a three-point play with 11:22 to go to spur the run while Ogwumike added one of her own to get the Cardinal lead to 12 at 54-42 with 9:01 remaining. UCLA (12-16, 6-10 Pac-12) would get it to within seven at 56-49 with 6:48 to play but that would be as close as the Bruins got.
Ogwumike scored five of Stanford’s remaining nine points to help seal the win.
UCLA led for much of the opening half thanks to Nirra Fields, who scored 11 of the first 15 Bruin points and went for 13 in the half. She went on to lead the Bruins with 24 points in the game.Stanford trailed 23-18 with 6:43 to go in the half after a jumper from UCLA’s Atonye Nyingifa, but Orrange would net a bucket followed by Bonnie Samuelson’s triple, fueling Stanford’s 11-2 half-ending run to give the Cadinal a 29-25 lead at the break.