No. 5/4 Stanford Cardinal (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12)
- at -
UCLA Bruins (12-15, 6-9 Pac-12)
Sunday, February 23, 2014 – 4 p.m. PT
Pauley Pavilion (13,800) – Los Angeles, Calif.
Series History: Stanford leads 55-22
Last Meeting: Jan. 24, 2014 (Stanford 72, UCLA 55) – Stanford, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Network (P-x-P: Anne Marie Anderson, Analyst: Tammy Blackburn)
Webcast: Pac-12 Online (http://www.pac-12.com/live)
Radio: 90.1 KZSU
STANFORD, Calif. - A share of the Pac-12 regular-season title and the top seed at the Pac-12 Tournament already in hand, No. 5/4 Stanford aims to make its 14th straight crown an outright one as it goes up against UCLA Sunday at 4 p.m. Sunday’s contest will air live on Pac-12 Network with Anne Marie Anderson and Tammy Blackburn on the call, and the game can also be heard on 90.1 KZSU.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal matched the best comeback in program history Friday night, roaring back from 19 points down to defeat USC, 64-59. After trailing 32-13 with 6:08 to go in the first half, Stanford went on a 17-5 run to end the half, then outscored the Trojans 34-22 over the final 20 minutes to claim the win and a share of its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title. Chiney Ogwumike scored 18 of her game-high 27 points in the second half to go with seven rebounds, while junior Bonnie Samuelson scored 14 points and was nails from the line, going 8-for-8 and hitting four in the final 29 seconds to seal the win. Forward Mikaela Ruef grabbed eight rebounds to go with six points while point guard Amber Orrange scored eight points with five assists and six rebounds.
UCLA (12-15, 6-9 Pac-12) has dropped six of its past eight contests heading into Sunday’s weekend finale, the latest a 77-72 setback to California Friday night. With Cori Close in her third year at the Bruin helm, UCLA is led by the play of Atonye Nyingifa (19.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and Nirra Fields (17.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg).
All-Time Against UCLA
Stanford is 55-22 all-time against UCLA, and has won 17 in a row against the Bruins, most recently a 72-55 victory at Maples Pavilion on January 24.
In The Pac-12 Stat Rankings
Through February 21 Stanford ranks in the top three of 12 categories: scoring defense (59.9 - first), scoring margin (+18.4 - first), rebounding margin (+8.4 - first), field-goal percentage (48.3 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage (38.9 - first), field-goal percentage defense (35.0 - first), assists (18.78 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.51 - first), scoring offense (78.3 - second), rebounding defense (34.6 - second), 3-point field-goal defense (29.1 - second) and defensive rebounding (30.3 drpg - second). Individually, Chiney Ogwumike leads the Pac-12 in scoring (26.5 ppg) and field-goal percentage (62.9), and is second in rebounding (12.0 rpg) and blocked shots (1.70 bpg). Mikaela Ruef is fifth in rebounding (9.3 rpg), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.77), and 12th in assists (3.07 apg), tops among all Pac-12 posts in the latter two categories. Amber Orrange leads the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.23) and is second in assists (4.78 apg). Lili Thompson (44.3) leads the Pac-12 in 3-point field-goal percentage while Bonnie Samuelson (42.0) is fourth and Karlie Samuelson (39.2) is sixth.
Stanford Clinches Share Of 14th Straight Pac-12 Title, Top Seed At Pac-12 Tournament
Friday’s 64-59 victory at USC did a number of things for Stanford. First, it clinched for the Cardinal a share of its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title, and 23rd overall, in addition to sewing up the top seed at the Pac-12 Tournament, set for March 6-9 at KeyArena in Seattle. Stanford, which can clinch the regular-season crown outright with a win Sunday at UCLA, or one more California loss (whichever comes first), has a bye into the tournament’s quarterfinals, where it will meet the winner of the 8 vs. 9 first-round game on Friday, March 7.
All-Time Comeback For The Cardinal
Stanford’s comeback from a 19-point deficit Friday night at USC matched the program record for largest deficit overcome and tied for eighth-best comeback in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history. The last time Stanford overcame a 19-point hole was in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Nov. 25, 2007. That day, Stanford trailed Temple by 19 late in the first half, but on the strength of a 43-15 run to end the game, turned around a 39-20 score into a 63-54 win.
Friday, the Cardinal trailed the Trojans 32-13 with 6:08 left in the first half, then proceeded to outscore USC 51-27 the rest of the way. Stanford went on a 17-5 run to end the first half, trimming the USC lead to seven at 37-30 at halftime, then took the lead for good at 45-43 with 11:07 to go in the game.
Ogwumike On The Cusp Of The NCAA Rebounding Top 10
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike became the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder back on Jan. 3, passing former Cardinal teammate Kayla Pedersen’s mark of 1,266. After grabbing seven rebounds in Friday’s win over USC, Ogwumike, with 1,444 career rebounds, passed Hawai’i’s Judy Mosley (1986-90), who grabbed 1,441 rebounds, for 11th place on the NCAA career-rebounding list. She is currently second among active players behind Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou (1,457 through Feb. 21) who is 10th on the NCAA list.
Chiney Ogwumike Named Capital One Academic All-American Of The Year
Senior forward Chiney Ogwumike earned the nation’s top academic honor for a student-athlete this past Thursday, being named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year for women’s basketball by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Ogwumike became the first Cardinal women’s basketball player to earn the honor, and was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team for the second straight year. She joined a list of Cardinal student-athletes that have earned the Academic All-American of the Year honor in various sports which includes Andrew Luck (football, 2012), Nick Amuchastegui (wrestling/at-large, 2011-12), Alix Klineman (women’s volleyball, 2010), Rachel Buehler (women’s soccer, 2007) and Tommy Vardell (football, 1991).
Chiney Ogwumike Against The Top-25
February 14’s 61-35 win over Arizona State improved Stanford’s record against Top-25 teams this season to 8-1. Over those nine games, Stanford’s received great performances from numerous players, most notably national player of the year candidate Chiney Ogwumike, the only player in the country to rank in the national Top 10 in scoring (27.2 ppg - third), rebounding (12.3 rpg - eighth), field-goal percentage (63.2 - second), and double-doubles (18 - sixth) through Feb. 9. Over nine games against Top-25 teams this year, Ogwumike is averaging 25.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and shooting 59.4 percent with 14 blocked shots. Below is a game-by-game breakdown of Ogwumike’s lines against those teams:
Coffee’s For Closers. So Drink Up, Bonnie Samuelson
Stepping up for a struggling Cardinal offense Friday night in Los Angeles was junior forward Bonnie Samuelson, who scored 14 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the win. Samuelson scored seven points with a 3-pointer in each half, and helped spur the Cardinal comeback by scoring five points over the final minutes of the first half to help the Cardinal pull to within seven. Late in the game, with Stanford clinging to leads of four and three points at moments of the final 29 seconds, Samuelson went to the line and coolly sank both free throws each time to give the Cardinal a two-possession cushion and close out the win.
Showing Some Grit
One knock on top teams is that sometimes they don’t really know how to play from behind, but Stanford has done a good job of defying that train of thought and showing some grit this season. Friday’s record comeback marked the second time this year that Stanford has come back to win a game after trailing at halftime. Each time the Cardinal came back to win in the final 20 minutes, it trailed the opposition 37-30 at the break, with the occasion prior to Friday night being on Nov. 23 at Texas. Stanford came back in that game to beat the Longhorns, 63-54. While Stanford could not overcome a 13-point halftime hole at Connecticut on Nov. 11, nor a 41-34 deficit at Washington on February 9, the Cardinal did trim Washington’s lead to three in the final seconds after trailing by as many as 16 in the second half.
Orrange Continues Strong Play
Junior point guard and Nancy Lieberman Award candidate Amber Orrange continued her strong run of play Friday night, passing out five assists to go with eight points and six rebounds in the win over USC. The Houston native has shot a combined 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from the field while averaging 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.67 assists over the past three games. The soft-spoken leader let her play in all facets of the game do the talking, as defensively she has made eight steals over the past three games.
Redshirt senior forward Mikaela Ruef continues to be Stanford’s go-to player for the blue-collar work on the court, grabbing eight rebounds with an assist while battling USC’s top post, Cassie Harberts, Friday night. While Harberts got off to a good start with nine first-half points, Ruef locked down on the post defense, holding the Trojans’ leading scorer to just three points over the game’s final 24:04 as Stanford came back from a 19-point deficit to gain a 64-59 victory. On the year Ruef is averaging career bests of 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.07 assists per game, and is tops amongst all Pac-12 posts in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.77), ranking sixth overall in the conference in the latter category.