Stanford Overwhelms UC Davis, 89-56
By Michelle Smith
STANFORD - Stanford overwhelmed UC Davis with scoring from all over the floor and advanced out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament with an 89-56 win Saturday at Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal hit a season-high 13 three-pointers and had six players score in double-figures en route to their 62nd straight home victory. Stanford hasn't lost at home since the second-round of the NCAA Tournament back in 2007.
The Cardinal seniors could become the first in program history to win every game at home during their careers and Stanford looks to finish that streak Monday night in the second round.
Stanford (30-2) will face No. 9 seed St. John's, a 55-50 winner over eighth-seeded Texas Tech earlier in the day.
"That is one of our goals," said Cardinal junior guard Lindy LaRocque. "We want it so bad for our seniors because they deserve it."
Junior forward Nneka Ogwumike led the Cardinal with 22 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the floor as Stanford worked the ball into the middle of the Aggies' troublesome zone.
LaRocque matched her career high with 14 points, including four three-pointers. Kayla Pedersen, Jeanette Pohlen and Toni Kokenis added 11 each and Chiney Ogwumike pitched in with 10 as the Cardinal shot 55.4 percent from the field for the game.
The two teams were tied 11-11 early before the Cardinal embarked on an 11-5 run that turned the tide.
Davis would get within 39-30 late in the first half, but no closer.
"I thought coming into this game that Stanford was a team playing at a national championship level. I've watched them a lot," said Davis coach Sandy Simpson. "Nothing I saw today dissuaded me from that."
Stanford out-rebounded the Aggies 33-19 and allowed Davis only two offensive rebounds in the game. They also forced 15 turnovers and scored 20 points off those turnovers. Stanford's offensive balance was reflected in 28 assists.
"We had people screening to get those shooters open," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I think we learned a lot from our less-than-stellar shooting game against UCLA."
UC Davis, which reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since becoming a full-fledged Division I program in 2007-08, finished the season 24-9. Longtime coach Simpson coached his final game for the Aggies after 14 seasons at the helm.
Senior forward Paige Mintun led Davis with 17 points and seven rebounds. Fellow senior Heidi Heintz was the only other Aggies player in double figures with 11.
"I thought we were pretty competitive in the first half, but in the second half, they came out pretty strong," Heintz said. "I'm sure their coach made some adjustments at halftime."
Davis hit 4 three-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game and then hit just two more the rest of the game.