Nov. 19, 2012
espnW National Player of the Week article
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike continued her dizzying ascent to the front of the early-season national player of the year race Monday morning, being named the inaugural winner of the espnW National Player of the Week award.
The award, unveiled for the first time Monday, is voted on every Sunday night by espnW's quartet of national college women's basketball writers: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel..
Ogwumike was named Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic MVP Sunday following a weekend in which she highlighted No. 4/4 Stanford's 71-69 victory Friday night over No. 1/1 Baylor on its way to the tournament title. Friday's win snapped defending national champion Baylor's 42-game winning streak, and was followed by wins of 69-42 and 92-68 over host Hawai'i and Tennessee-Martin, respectively.
The junior from Cypress, Texas opened the weekend by scoring 18 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including the first 3-pointer of her collegiate career, with eight rebounds in the win over the Bears. In the game's most clutch moment, Ogwumike drove through the Baylor defense for a reverse layup with 22 seconds remaining to give Stanford a two-possession lead at 70-66 and account for what would be the game-winning bucket in the eventual two-point win.
She followed that performance up with a pair of double-doubles, her second and third of the year, over the final two games. Against Hawai'i Saturday night, Ogwumike scored 15 points and matched her season high with 17 rebounds, and followed up with a 25-point, 10-rebound effort and 12-of-16 shooting performance in Sunday's win over Tennessee-Martin.
Over Stanford's 5-0 start to the campaign Ogwumike is averaging 20.6 points and 11.8 rebounds while shooting a scorching 64.7 percent from the field. The consensus national player of the year candidate and preseason All-American has also continued to flex her defensive muscle this year, averaging 1.44 steals a game.
The Cardinal returns to action next Sunday, Nov. 25 when it hosts Long Beach State at 2 p.m. Stanford currently owns a national-best 80-game home winning streak at Maples Pavilion.