Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stanford Flattens Oregon State

So two years ago, Stanford’s inside player Nneka Ogwumike decided in her senior season that she needed a mid range game to make her more versatile for the WNBA. She developed a nice shooting touch, and although she wouldn’t beat you with a three, if you stopped her from going inside, she could pull up for a nice jumper. She got herself drafted #1 and won the WNBA rookie of the year.

Flash forward to today and little sis Chiney Ogwumike is following in her footsteps. She is a danger inside, and if you leave her one on one in there, even against your best defender, she usually will score (UConn seeming to be the only exception). So Chiney has been working on her outside game for when she runs up against the UConn’s of the world, but it has been a little slower in developing then Nneka’s was. Mostly, it is the arch that is missing. Her outside shots beeline it for the basket.

Now, usually when the Stanford Women’s Basketball Team beats you, it’s because Chiney Ogwumike beat you inside. And that was certainly true today against Oregon State. Chiney scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Except today was different in that Chiney Ogwumike also beat OSU outside. Her shots still beelined towards the basket, But they went in. and when Chiney can hit for the outside, everything is going Stanford’s way. Stanford as a team went on a 29-4 run in the first eight and half minutes, and Chiney scored 17 of those points, and they never looked back.
Lili Thompson
Stanford's Lili Thompson (Ben Margot / AP Photo)

Oh, OSU had a few runs of their own, and shot the three ball in a timely matter just to keep pace, but that 20-point cushion could not be bridged. The final score was 89-67 Stanford. 

Four Stanford players scored in double figures. Freshmen starting guard Lili Thompson scored a season-high 19 points, made three out of four 3-point attempts, stole the ball twice and matched season bests with five rebounds and five assists. She also threw her body around on the court and was intimidating to OSU. Mikaela Ruef finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Taylor Greenfield had 13 points and made two 3-pointers. Bonnie the Bomber made a three with an assist from her younger sister Karlee (yes, sisterhood runs deep at Stanford). Speaking of threes, Stanford was 7-10 on 3-point attempts, and correct C and R if they are wrong, but that is a whopping 70% accuracy.

Said Oregon State’s coach, "Stanford set the tone tonight. They came out and punched us in the face basically for the first 10 minutes of this game." And punch they did, as for the second game in a row, an opposing player had to get medical treatment for a bloody nose. No more “Nice Girls from Stanford”, Pac-12.

Chiney Ogwumike posted her sixth 30-point game and 10th double-double of the season. She also passed out a career-high six assists. She passed Jayne Appel (2,125) for fourth place on Stanford's career scoring list. By season's end, Ogwumike also could overtake Kate Starbird (2,215), older sister Nneka Ogwumike (2,491) and possibly even Candice Wiggins’ conference record of 2,629 points (although coach Tara VanDerveer might not want that to happen, adoring Candice, LOL).

Next up Stanford travels to Utah and Colorado for more Pac-12 action.

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