Friday, March 7, 2014

Stanford Survives, Beats Colorado

This was an ugly game. The only consolidation was the score, with The Stanford Women’s Basketball team putting together a better second half then the first, beating Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal by a score of 69-54 Stanford is lucky, though, every team so far (Utah Oregon still playing) that had the bye started out slow, and everyone lost except for Stanford (and what is with the 12 noon start?)

Chiney Ogwumike and Mikaela Ruef
Chiney Ogwumike,and Mikaela Ruef battle with Colorado (Ted S. Warren - AP Photo)
How ugly was it? Stanford was losing at the half and had a season-low 21 points in the first. That’s right. Usually Chiney Ogwumike has 25 points by half time. She was double-teamed virtually every time she touched the ball in the post, and was held to five-first half points. Good thing Colorado only had 23 points at the half. Both teams shot poorly in the first, Stanford at 24% and Colorado at 27%. Stanford only made one of ten 3-pointers in the first, too and went 6-19 for the game. They will need to step up that percentage.

The play of the game that started the rally in the second half? Probably Chiney Ogwumike’s three! LOL! That’s right ,the inside player got her third three of the year (her career?) and gave them the lead at 30-28. Stanford went on a 16-2 run and never looked back.

Spark plug of the game: Lili Thompson. She scored the next eight points for Stanford during that huge run after Chiney’s three, including a fallaway prayer while being fouled. The basket went in and so did the free throw, and everything went Stanford’s way.

Defensive spark plug was Alex Green, who came of the bench and got some key stops.

Colorado had confidence they could win, which helped them stay in the game in the first. They were also physical, which hurt them in the second. They committed 28 fouls, the most by an opponent all year. The foul shot difference was huge. Colorado made 6 of 9 free throws, and Stanford made 21 of 30 attempts.

For starting out so slowly, Stanford had four players in double figures, and two players in double-double figures. Chiney Ogwumike had 19 points, 11 rebounds and Mikaela Ruef had 10 points, 16 rebounds. Freshie Lili Thompson added 16 points with two made threes and Bonnie Samuelson had 15 points and three made threes. Chiney recorded her seventh career double-double in Pac-12 tournament play, tying the record. Who is that record holder? None other than older sister Nneka Ogwumike, who we should see in the Pac-12 studios starting Saturday.

Pac-12 note: Chiney Ogwumike’s 19 points increased her career scoring total to 2,599, bringing her to 31 points away from breaking Candice Wiggins’ Pac-12 record of 2,629. AND Chiney’s 11 rebounds brought her Pac-12-leading career rebounding total to 1,494. All kinda crazy records in this hear Pac-12 tourney.

Next: Stanford plays USC at 6 PM Saturday on the Pac-12 channel.

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