Chiney Ogwumike posted her 14th double-double of the season with 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead four Cardinal players scoring in double figures in a physical 72-55 win.
Stanford ran up its winning streak to 17 games, improving the 18-1 overall and 7-0 in Pac-12 play. The Cardinal’s hold on first place atop the conference table will be put on the line Monday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 against USC, which is 7-1 in Pac-12 play.
UCLA played a physical game Friday night, crashing the boards early and forcing its way into the lane. The strategy worked early as the Bruins took a few one-point leads and were within a point at halftime, trailing 36-35. Ogwumike opened up the game 1-for-6 from the field but picked it up to go 9-for-12 the rest of the way.
“They were physical and it took me a little bit to adjust to it,” said Ogwumike. “In the interim, Sara James had a great game for us, and Erica McCall did well so I was just proud of my teammates stepping up while I was struggling.”
Stanford would pull away in the second half, though, shooting 59.3 percent over the final 20 minutes and getting 10 points and six rebounds from Ogwumike. Senior guard Sara James played a key role early in the half, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to score six of her 11 points, the second triple getting the Cardinal lead up to six at 45-39 with 16:48 to play. Ogwumike would hit a layup on the next possession to get the Cardinal’s run to 11-2 to start the half.
“UCLA is extremely aggressive, but I thought our team came out in the second half and got it going. We attacked a lot better and were more aggressive,” said Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Tara VanDerveer.
Stanford got a big lift off the bench from freshman forward Erica McCall, who scored a season-high 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting and matched her season best with eight rebounds. Point guard Amber Orrange passed out eight assists against just one turnover to kick-start the Cardinal offense.
The Bruins still wouldn’t go away completely, getting to within six on multiple occasions, the final time with 9:24 to play and the score 55-49 in favor of the Cardinal. A three-point play from freshman guard Lili Thompson, who scored 15 points Friday night, followed by a Taylor Greenfield jumper put Stanford in front by 11 at 60-49 with 7:55 remaining, and the Bruins would never get closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Atonye Nyingifa led the Bruins with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Nirra Fields scored 13 points. Point guard Thea Lemberger had seven points with seven assists.UCLA trailed by nine at 60-51 after a Luiana Livulo bucket, but a pair of Ogwumike buckets sandwiched a jumper from Amber Orrange as Stanford scored six straight to go up 15 at 66-51 with 4:37 remaining and deliver the knockout blow.