On the fast track to being named National Player of the Year, Chiney Ogwumike went over her averages with 30 points and 16 rebounds in Stanford’s 80-56 victory at Arizona State Monday.
The Sun Devils stayed within seven at halftime, while the 6-foot-4 senior forward - who averages 27 and 12- sat out the final seven minutes of the first half with foul trouble.
“We were getting so many big touches, which are hard to come by against Stanford,” ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “You have to play your A game to be in a position to beat Stanford, and we didn’t.”
ASU (15-3, 4-2 Pacific-12) had moved up to No. 14 in the nation earlier in the day, while Stanford (17-1, 6-0) remained at No.4 behind Connecticut, Notre Dame and Duke. It was the 15th win in a row for the Cardinal over the Sun Devils, dating back to Feb. 16, 2006.
“I think Charli’s doing a great job, and this was a very big win for us, this is one of the best teams we’ve played,” Stanford’s Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer said of her protégé.
After ASU guard Promise Amukamara scored the game’s opening basket, Ogwumike tipped in the rebound off the glass from Lili Thompson’s missed free throw and scored the Cardinal’s first six points in awing fashion.
The Sun Devils took an 8-6 lead, only to be followed with Stanford pouring in 11 consecutively, before Amukamara ended the streak on a fast break. Cardinal freshman Karlie Samuelson answered right back with a three, and she would score 10 of her 11 in the first half.
The Cardinal took an advantage as high as 26-12, before Ogwumike was sent to the bench with two fouls. In 12 minutes, she still had a line most players would be envious of after a complete game, going 5-for-6 with 12 points and six rebounds.
“We committed to our game plan, and our defense gave our offense momentum,” Ogwumike said. “We’re a defensive team. I know I need to play smarter and not jeopardize my position, and that was probably the changing point (her sitting out). We started running plays where everyone got touches."
On the other end, ASU freshman Sophie Brunner cut the lead to seven with a steal and basket, as she went 4-for-6 with 10 points while grabbing seven boards in the first session. She ended with her fourth double-double of 12 and 11.
“We needed to be more ready and we weren’t,” Brunner said.
The Cardinal, which had been averaging 50 points per first half in conference games, led 35-28 at the half and would come out scoring the opening nine of the second, before Quinn Dornstauder hit a jumper at the 16-minute mark.
Arnecia Hawkins tried to keep the Sun Devils in it with all of her seven in the second period, and Adrianne Thomas added a game-high six assists.
“We knew what we needed to do and just didn’t do it,” said ASU sophomore guard Katie Hempen, who led the team with 13 points. “It makes us realize what we need, it’s a lack of focus.”
Taylor Greenfield of Stanford scored 14 points, and Mikaela Ruef had nine points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Lieberman Award candidate Amber Orrange, who poured in her career-high 22 in the UConn loss, was held scoreless in 29 minutes.
For the game, Stanford outshot ASU 54 percent to 32 percent, while the Sun Devils collected 14 second-chance points to the Cardinal’s six.
ASU hits the road at Utah Friday and Colorado Jan. 26, before returning home to face Oregon State at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Stanford hosts UCLA Friday and USC Jan. 27, which will be on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. MT.