Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stanford, Tough D, Beats UCLA

This was a tough, physical game. It featured one flagrant foul and technical for swinging elbows, and one player getting an elbow in the face and a lacerated cheek. Yes, those were two different plays.
Still, the Stanford women’s basketball team prevailed 68-57 over UCLA in a game that featured both teams taking turns going cold and letting the other team go on long runs. Stanford had 15 turnovers and UCLA had 21.

Chiney Still Scores
Chiney Ogwumike, right, tries to score over Markel Walker. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike got going early and often, scoring 12 points in the first and 26 for the game. She only grabbed seven rebounds so her streak of nine straight double-doubles came to an end. Same with her hopes of tying the Stanford record of 51 career double-doubles set by her sister Nneka Ogwumike. Chiney is currently on 50. That’s okay, she can do it in front of her home crowd this coming weekend. 

UCLA’s Alyssia Brewer’s quote on Chiney was a little cryptic. "Overall I think we did a pretty job on her," UCLA senior forward Alyssia Brewer said. "I know she had 26 points but all of her shots were tough shots. I gotta give her credit for being able to make those shots and she does come prepared." Yes, they were tough shots, but that’s what Chiney does, she makes those tough shots. You might have forced her to take tough shots, but if she is knocking them down, you are not making it hard enough. Turns out this is Chiney’s 20th 20 point game this season. In ten games against ranked opponents, Chiney is averaging more than 21 points and11 rebounds.

The game was so physical early on that Stanford coach sent in backup 6’5 center Tess Picknell in the first half. She scored a basket and swung her elbows and got the aforementioned fragrant foul. To some observers on Twitter, they thought the UCLA player did not give her room to clear the ball and baited the center into the foul. As for the second vicious elbow, Chiney Ogwumike got an alley-oop pass and was going for a lay up when Kari Korver got in her way. Chiney’s elbow came down on her cheek and sliced her cheekbone, spouting quite a bit of blood. In this case, Korver got the foul, had to leave the game and will need multiple stitches to her cheek. Chiney, to her credit, went over to the bleeding Korver and apologized and said she didn’t mean to injure her. Pretty classy.

As we mentioned, both teams would go on runs and then get cold. UCLA got within two right before the half but Bombing Bonnie Samuelson hit a three to put Stanford up by five. UCLA would get within five points in the second half, too, but could not get closer.

Mikaela Ruef, who is experiencing a renaissance of scoring, had her second double-double of her career. She scored 10 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Joslyn Tinkle was one rebound away from matching that, also scoring 10 and grabbing 9 boards. That would have been her third straight double-double. However, she is four points away from joining the 1000 point club. Again, it is nicer to do it at home this weekend.

Stanford has two games at home this weekend against Oregon State and Oregon(and senior night) and two away games at the Washingtons. Both sets of teams are bottom dwellers in the Pac-12 conferences. Looks like Stanford and Cal will share a piece of the Pac-12 regular Title if everybody wins as they should.

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