Cardinal Thump Bulldogs before Key Road Swing
Dec. 13, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford is about to embark on a road trip that more resembles an NCAA tournament run--a stop at Duke, South Carolina and then Tennessee.
So coach Tara VanDerveer appreciated a tuneup against scrappy Fresno State first before leaving town.
Freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 19 points in her first career start and the third-ranked Cardinal rolled to a 100-62 victory over Fresno State on Saturday following a two-week break for finals.
'I thought our team really came out excited to play after being off for two weeks,' VanDerveer said. 'I'm really pleased with how Nneka came right into our starting lineup. They're a tough team to play because they play so unorthodox. We were sloppy in some parts of the game, but otherwise we shot well. We can take care of the ball better, we can rebound better. That gives us something to work on.'
Reigning Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Kayla Pedersen added 21 points and five assists and Jeanette Pohlen had 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Cardinal (7-1) in an important tuneup before playing at No. 11 Duke on Tuesday. This was Stanford's sixth straight victory since its lone loss, an 81-65 defeat at Baylor on Nov. 16.
The Cardinal jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back. Pedersen scored six straight points during one first-half stretch.
Marnique Arnold had 21 points and six rebounds and Hayley Munro 12 points and eight boards for Fresno State (6-3), which was outrebounded for only the second time this season at 50-30. Coach Adrian Wiggins was whistled for a technical for arguing a foul call with 28.2 seconds remaining.
The Broncos earned just their third win over a ranked team in 16 years when they beat then-No. 22 Texas Christian 75-71 at home on Dec. 4, two days before TCU upset now-No. 9 California in Berkeley. But scrappy Fresno State was overmatched from the start by Stanford's athleticism and size.
Pohlen scored five straight points during a 9-0 spurt late in the first half that turned a 10-point lead into a 37-18 advantage. But Fresno State hit six first-half 3-pointers to stay within 48-35 at the break.
Stanford senior Jillian Harmon missed the game after she tweaked her back during the team's recent tournament in Hawaii and Ogwumike started in her place. Ogwumike scored eight of her points during Stanford's 10-2 run to start the second half.
'She elevates so much that unless we get a ladder, we can't get up there,' Wiggins said. 'For us the game was closer than what the score looked like. They did a great job making the important shots.'
VanDerveer, who has one of her deepest teams ever, isn't sure whether Harmon will play in the Duke game. She's pleased with Ogwumike's progress and quick learning.
'I try to come prepared for every game,' Ogwumike said. 'Being in the starting lineup really helped me. It boosted my confidence.'
Stanford showed crisp ball movement in the early minutes, crashed the offensive glass and made it tough for the Bulldogs to get uncontested shots. Jayne Appel and Ogwumike each blocked shots in the opening two minutes.
Fresno State began the game 0-for-9, getting its first points on a pair of free throws by Joh-Teena Filipe at 15:18 and first field goal on Jaleesa Ross' 3-pointer at 14:13.
The 6-foot-4 Appel, Stanford's leading scorer who was named MVP at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Classic, had 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
Stanford lost point guard JJ Hones to a season-ending knee injury late in the first half of their last home game, Nov. 23 against Rutgers. Hones is scheduled to have surgery Dec. 29 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, the same injury that sidelined her during her freshman season.
The Cardinal have won the last five meetings with Fresno State and lead the all-time series 17-6. This marked just the third matchup since Nov. 29, 1988.