Monday, December 16, 2013

Stanford Beats New Mexico, Ogwumike Joins Elite Club

Well that was a fun night. The Stanford Women’s Basketball Team got a little work out against New Mexico before they play #3 Tennessee on Saturday.

Chiney Ogwumike
Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)
The game opened with senior Chiney Ogwumike getting the ball one-on-one in the low post and scoring. And what do we say to teams that leave her one-on-one in the low post? Chiney all day. Rinse and repeat to the tune of her scoring Stanford’s first 10 points and 23 of Stanford’s 25 before head coach Tara VanDerveer took pity on New Mexico and took her out with 9:52 left in the first. She went back in briefly and ended up with 24 points to 21 for New Mexico at the half. Stanford as a team had 40.

With her fifth point, Chiney became the fifth member of Stanford's 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound club, which includes older sister Nneka Ogwumike, Jayne Appel, Nicole Powell and Val Whiting.Great company indeed. Chiney also had seven rebounds for the game to pass her sister Nneka for third place on the school’s all-time rebounding list with 1,227. Jayne Appel is second with 1,263 and Kayla Pedersen is first with 1,266, also the Pac-12 record.

Chiney only played 23 minutes and finished with 32 points, four shy of her career-high set earlier this season, and the third time she’s scored 30 or more this season. She sat the final 10:30. Stanford overwhelmed New Mexico to the tune of 75-41.

Notables bench players were Erica (Bird) McCall with a season-high eight rebounds and six points. Taylor Greenfield scored a season-high eight points (and made two 3-pointers) and Bonnie Samuelson also made a three and had eight points.

The team also recorded a season high 12 blocks (Chiney had four of them), and held New Mexico to 41 points, a new season low for opponents. Stanford’s defense has now held three opponents to less than 50 points this year.

As fun as it was to watch Chiney score, and so many by half time, the other four starters had zero points at the half. Yes, not a typo, zero. At the end of regulation, starter Chiney had the 32, guard Amber Orrrrange had six and Mikaela Ruef had two points. That won’t cut it with Tennessee (although Ruefie grabbed 10 rebounds).

Coach Tara VanDerveer says she wants to trim the line-up to about eight players. We will see who she plays against Tennessee (which Stanford has beat twice in a row now).

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