No. 2 Cardinal Take Care Of Cal, 79-58

Jan. 2, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help No. 2 Stanford open the Pac-10 season with a dominating 79-58 victory over archrival California on Saturday.

Kayla Pedersen added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jayne Appel scored 13 for the Cardinal (11-1, 1-0 Pac-10), who beat the Golden Bears (6-6, 0-1) for the 34th time in the past 37 meetings. Stanford has won 36 straight games at Maples Pavilion.

This was only the second time these Bay Area rivals opened the Pac-10 season against each other. But this meeting lacked the buildup to those in recent seasons when Cal was challenging Stanford for conference superiority. The Bears won at Maples Pavilion in 2007 and at home last season but fell short in the Pac-10 race each season.

With Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton gone from Cal, the first meeting between the teams this season was mostly a mismatch.

Stanford controlled the inside against the inexperienced Bears and pulled away in the second half for the easy victory.

The Cardinal's first 22 points of the second half were scored by the talented frontcourt crew of Ogwumike, Appel and Pedersen. Pedersen's fast break basket off a pass from JJ Hones capped a 10-0 run and gave Stanford a 55-33 lead with about 11:30 to go. The Cardinal just coasted from there.

Layshia Clarendon led Cal with 13 points and DeNesha Stallworth added 12. The Bears made just 36 percent of their shots and turned the ball over 19 times. They trailed by at least 10 points for the final 24 minutes of the game and lost for the fourth time in six games.

Stanford received a scare early in the second half when starting guard Jeanette Pohlen limped off the court and into the locker room. She returned a few minutes later after getting her right ankle taped.

After making their first two shots of the game, the Cardinal missed 14 straight as they could not convert numerous chances in close after offensive rebounds. Even the normally reliable Appel missed a wide-open layup in transition for Stanford.

But despite the cold shooting, Stanford led almost the entire half because Cal was even worse offensively with 11 first-half turnovers. The Cardinal went on a 14-2 run to build an early 10-point lead. Then with Ogwumike getting open for some easy shots late in the half and converting them, Stanford managed to build the lead to 15 points late in the half.

But Lauren Greif and Alexis-Gray Lawson hit 3-pointers in the closing minute to help Cal close the gap to 35-24 at halftime. Gray-Lawson's 3 just before the buzzer provided her only points of the half and made her the ninth Cal player to reach 1,500 points in a career.

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