STANFORD, Calif. - No. 2/2 Stanford travels to Los Angeles this week to defend its Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament title. The Cardinal, as the top seed in the draw, has a bye into Thursday's quarterfinal at USC's Galen Center, where at 12 p.m. PT it will take on No. 8 Washington. Thursday's game will be webcast live on the Pac-12's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/pac12conf with Kevin Danna on the call and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude as analyst. The game will also be carried over the airwaves on 90.1 KZSU with Sam Fisher on the call.
Last Time Out
The Cardinal closed out the seventh perfect conference season in program history with Sunday night's 86-61 win at California. Toni Kokenis scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting with six rebounds and four assists. Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 22 points, went 10-for-11 from the line and grabbed nine rebounds while younger sister Chiney Ogwumike posted her 14th double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Fellow forward Joslyn Tinkle played a solid contest, scoring 16 points with four rebounds and five blocked shots. As a team, the Cardinal shot 88.9 percent (24-for-27) from the line and held California to just 37.3 percent shooting and a 1-for-10 mark from behind the arc.
Stanford At The Pac-12 Tournament
Stanford will be going for its ninth conference tournament crown this week in Los Angeles. The Cardinal opens up play at USC's Galen Center in Thursday's quarterfinal round, taking on No. 8 seed Washington (17-12) in Thursday's 12 p.m. quarterfinal. The Huskies defeated No. 9 Oregon, 72-56, in Wednesday's first round. Overall, Stanford owns a 27-2 record in conference tournament play, with the only losses coming in the 2002 and 2006 title games.
Stanford In The Polls
Stanford remained at No. 2 in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Polls this week.
In The Pac-12 Statistical Rankings
Through March 4, Stanford ranks in the Pac-12's top three in: scoring (77.8 ppg - first), scoring margin (+23.0 - first), field goal percentage (45.8 - first), field-goal percentage defense (34.0 - first), 3-point field-goal percentage defense (23.5 - first), free-throw percentage (76.2 - first), defensive rebounding (29.6 - first), assists (17.17 apg - first), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.34 - first), scoring defense (54.8 ppg - second), rebounding (44.8 - second), rebounding defense (33.6 - second), rebounding margin (+11.2 - second), offensive rebounding (15.2 rpg - second), offensive rebound percentage (41.8 - second), defensive rebound percentage (70.4 - third), blocked shots (4.41 bpg - third) and turnover margin (+1.9 - third).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the conference with 21.6 points and is second with 10.5 rebounds a game and an 82.8 free-throw percentage, while ranking fifth with a 53.9 field-goal percentage. Chiney Ogwumike is second with a 59.2 field-goal percentage, third with 10.1 rebounds a game, and fifth with 15.9 points per game. Toni Kokenis (2.30) leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio. Joslyn Tinkle leads the pac-12 with a 89.6 free-throw percentage and Taylor Greenfield is second with a 38.9 3-point field-goal percentage.
In The National Statistical Rankings
Through March 4, Stanford ranks in the national top 20 in: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.34 - third), 3-point field-goal defense (23.5 - third), scoring margin (+23.0 - fourth), scoring (77.8 - fifth), rebounding margin (+11.2 - sixth), turnovers per game (12.8 - sixth), field-goal percentage (45.8 - eighth), field-goal percentage defense (34.0 - 10th), assists (17.17 - ninth), free-throw percentage (76.2 - 17th) and fouls per game (13.7 - 20th).
Individually, Nnemkadi Ogwumike is 10th in the country with 21.6 points a game, 14th with 10.5 rebounds per game and 16th with a 53.9 field-goal percentage. Chiney Ogwumike is fifth with her 59.2 field-goal percentage and 21st with 10.1 rebounds per game, while Toni Kokenis (2.30) is ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Stanford Runs Away With All-Pac-12 Awards And Honors
The Pac-12 announced its All-Pac-12 awards and teams Tuesday, and Stanford came away with the lion's share of honors. Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Player of the Year), Chiney Ogwumike (Defensive Player of the Year) and Tara VanDerveer (Coach of the Year) took home three of the four conference awards, while sophomore guard Toni Kokenis was named to her first All-Pac-12 Team along with the Ogwumikes. Chiney was named to the All-Defensive Team while Nneka and Kokenis were named All-Defensive honorable mention. Rookies Taylor Greenfield and Amber Orrange also earned All-Freshman Team honorable mention.
Nneka's Player of the Year honor is the second of her career (2010), and marks the 16th time a Stanford player has claimed or shared the award. Chiney is the second Stanford player to earn Defensive Player of the Year following Rosalyn Gold-Onwude in 2010, and VanDerveer claimed Coach of the Year for the 12th time.
Ogwumikes Named John R. Wooden Award Finalists
Stanford's sister combo of Nnemkadi and Chiney Ogwumike was named to the 15-player final ballot for the John R. Wooden Award Wednesday morning. Nneka, one of the leading candidates for national player of the year, ranks in the top 16 in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage, while younger sister Chiney has put together a big season averaging 15.9 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 59.2 percent from the field, fifth-best in the nation.
Stanford has had much success all-time, and especially as of late, against Washingto, Thursday's quarterfinal opponent. Against the eighth-seeded Huskies the Cardinal is 41-14 overall, with 12 straight wins, most recently a 65-47 win on Jan. 21.
Strengthening The National Player Of The Year Case
Senior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike's national player of the year and All-America campaign is running full steam heading into the postseason. Nneka has led a young group of Cardinal players to a 12th straight conference title and a third straight 18-0 Pac-12 record. The senior forward, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Year Tuesday, and has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week three times this year, leads the Pac-12 in scoring (21.6 ppg), and is second in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and free-throw percentage (82.8). She also ranks in the national top 20 in scoring (10th), rebounding (14th) and field-goal percentage (16th).
Another Big Streak For The Cardinal
Sunday's win at California brought Stanford's current winning streak to 25 games. It is now the fifth straight season in which the Cardinal has put together a streak of at least 20 wins. The Cardinal is also just two games away from matching the longest streak in program history.
Peaking At The Right Time
Stanford is entering the postseason on its usual tear, having won its past seven games and eight of the last 10 by more than 20 points since the beginning of February. Over those past 10 games, Stanford has beaten its opponents by an average margin of 25.9 points a game. Sunday at California, the Cardinal offense was again a model of efficiency as four different players scored in double figures while Toni Kokenis (23 points) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (22 points) each posted 20-point game. Chiney Ogwumike posted her 15th double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Continuing The Conference Run
As the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament prepares to get underway Wednesday, Stanford looks to continue its record 75-game winning streak against conference competition. Coincidentally, Stanford's current streak began with an 85-57 victory over one of its potential quarterfinal opponents, Oregon, back on Jan. 22, 2009. The Cardinal's last loss to a Pac-12 team came on Jan. 18, 2009, in a 57-54 loss at California. Since then, Stanford has won 75 straight, put together three straight 18-0 conference regular seasons and won three conference tournaments with a chance at a fourth this week.
The Pac-12 Media Awards Go To Stanford As Well
The Pac-12 media announced its honors Monday, and again, Stanford was a major recipient. Nnemkadi Ogwumike was voted Pac-12 Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year, sharing the latter award with USC's Briana Gilbreath. Nneka, Chiney Ogwumike and Toni Kokenis were all voted to the All-Pac-12 Team while rookie point guard Amber Orrange was voted to the All-Freshman Team.
Another Unbeaten Senior Class
Stanford's Class of 2012, consisting of Sarah Boothe, Lindy La Rocque, Grace Mashore and Nnemkadi Ogwumike, etched its name into Cardinal lore Feb. 29 by becoming just the second class to go undefeated at Maples Pavilion all four years. This class, which has reached three Final Fours (so far) and won four conference titles, has led the Cardinal to a 130-11 record (.922).
Stanford Dominates Battle Of The Bay
Sunday's 86-61 rout of California marked the 26th time over 29 meetings since the 2000-01 season that the Cardinal had captured the Battle of the Bay with its bitter rival. It also marked the 20th season out of the past 25 that Stanford has swept the Battle of the Bay regular season series. In fact, over Stanford's current eight-game winning streak in the series, it has defeated California by an average margin of 19.8 points per game.
Chiney Ogwumike Strengthens Her All-America Pitch
Sophomore forward Chiney Ogwumike continued her strong bid for her first All-America nod with another big effort in a big game. Sunday night in Berkeley, Chiney posted her 15th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. On the defensive end, she blocked three shots, foreshadowing her selection as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday.
Kokenis Lights It Up
Prior to earning her first All-Pac-12 nod Tuesday, sophomore guard Toni Kokenis lit up Haas Pavilion with 23 points in Sunday's 86-61 win at California. The Second City Sparkplug went 9-for-14 from the field, including a 3-for-6 showing from behind the arc, and grabbed six rebounds with four assists to bolster her solid effort.
The Rookies Get Some Love
Freshmen Taylor Greenfield and Amber Orrange got their first taste of Pac-12 honors Tuesday, each being named All-Freshman Team honorable mention. Greenfield, who has started 13 of 25 games this year, averages 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds a game while shooting 38.9 percent from behind the arc, a figure that ranks second in the Pac-12. Orrange, who has started the past 15 games and played in all 29, ranks second on the team with 81 assists and a 2.03 assist-to-turnover ratio, and shooting 45.5 percent from the field.