Saturday, January 7, 2012

Stanford Saved by Nneka Ogwumike Once Again

Why is it whenever C has a continuing education class (And I do seem to need a lot of them!), they take place during a Stanford Women’s Basketball Game? Do the Cont Ed people grab a Stanford schedule and plan this out on purpose? Anyhoo, C had to miss the CLOSEST game this season (heck we beat Tenn by more) in a 67-60 win over Oregon State. R was there and here is her report. All typos are C’s, though.

And not only did I miss the game (This is C continuing, sorry, not ready to turn it over to R yet), I missed my all time fave player Nneka Ogwumike set not one but two, two milestones. She got 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. She is the 7th 2,000 point scorer for Stanford, and  the fifth with 1,000 rebounds, joining Kayla Pedersen, (1,266), Jayne Appel (1,263), Nicole Powell (1,143) and Val Whiting (1,134). However, she is the first Stanford player to do both those feats in one game (that I missed). Anyway, heeeeere’s R:

At the onset of the game we were celebrating Dog Lovers; soon we would be celebrating Nneka Ogwumike who hit her 2000th point and grabbed her 1000th rebound -- as our Candice Wiggins Tweeted she did it, “the Stanford way, she’s so legit!” (R had to both tweet and report on this game while eating a hot dog--multi-tasking is so hard for us!)

Back to the dogs; dozens of dogs were dressed as fans --  I especially liked the scrunchy-faced dog wearing the ‘We Back Pat’ towel. One beautiful pit bull enthusiastically licked her owner’s face but I still gave her a wide berth to my seat.

In the first few minutes of the game, our offense was, you guessed it, Nneka, Nneka, more Nneka, and only Nneka. She had the first 8 Stanford points. Then she felt the pressure as her team kept feeding her inside (whether for the records or because we didn’t feel good about our other options, I don’t know), and she shot a couple of uncharacteristic air balls and even missed an alley-oop. I was beginning to wonder if anyone else would ever score for Stanford.  Finally, a 3 pointer is made by the freshman Samuelson to accompany Nneka’s first 8 points.

However, Nneka is not one of these selfish, give me the ball type players. Early on, Nneka did a nice little bounce pass to Tinkle under the basket.  Assist Nneka, bucket Tinkle plus one from the free throw line – nice 3-point play, and smart to get others involved.

On the other end of the court we gasped as Nneka snatched the rebound with one hand while floating a foot above her opponent, a much taller Beaver. Her sister Chiney, scoreless in the first half, wanted a piece of the action so she fouled a Beaver hard – so hard, she knocked her own contact lens out! That’s a first!

The Beavers had intensity and good shooting.  Their 3-point specialist, Sage Indendi, made a quick 3 in the first few minutes. I was very impressed with Oregon State’s coach. He had his team ready to play. Wish I could say the same for Tara VanDerveer. Although she did own up to it in the post-game press conference saying, her team “played casual” and “lacked intensity.”

Halftime, Stanford is down 35 – 31, say what? C called in during her break and couldn’t believe it!

OSU catches on it is the Nneka show and decides to triple team Nneka. Not double team, triple team, and yet Nneka still scores! She was amazing.  How amazing? She scored 33 for the night and grabbed 16 boards. Sister Chiney, humbled by not scoring any in the first half and losing that contact, comes back with a vengeance in the second half and adds 20 points and 10 rebounds. Double doubles for double-trouble, again.

Double troubling was the sister combined scored 53 combined points. Fifty-Three. Out of Sixty-Seven for the team. Not good. Next closest scorer was Tinkle with 5. F-I-V-E. Lindy, Toni and Bonnie each had 3. And that’s it. Very troubling indeed.

The Beavers also have the Pac-12 leading blocker Patricia Bright, averaging 3.8 blocks per game this season.  Well, the first several blocks were by our sisters Ogwumike and the most awe-inspiring by our Nneka – sending the ball back 10 feet. Maples must be defended, I heard one fan yell.

Patricia Bright DID have a few early blocks on Chiney, but ended up fouling out midway through the second half – our Band verbally marching her off the court. Brutal.

We began to dominate and gain confidence cheering Nneka’s milestones.  She joins Jayne Appel, Nicole Powell, and Val Whiting who have scored 2000 points and collected 1000 rebounds during their play on the Farm.
Although the game was a little too exciting (potentially jeopardizing our home-game winning streak), we get to place a W in Result column. UConn wasn’t so lucky. They lost in OT to Notre Dame 74-67 today.

Our little girls won their game tonight and we went out for pizza. Then we played kick the can in the parking lot by the liquor store. (C ran so hard she nearly threw up her pizza… but you didn’t want to know that). Such warm and fond memories we are creating for them!

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