No. 4 Stanford played without ailing Toni Kokenis on Friday at Maples Pavilion, and the effect of her absence was evident in one particular statistic: Stanford's 19 turnovers, a season high for the Cardinal.
It didn't hurt Stanford (21-2, 10-1, still tied with Cal for first) against Arizona, which was overmatched and also committed 19 turnovers while shooting just 30.8 percent from the field in a 73-43 loss to the Cardinal. But it shows the significance of having Kokenis' ball-handling on the court.
She has been limited this season by an unspecified illness, and it appears that could limit her at certain times the rest of the season.
When Kokenis is not on the court, it leaves Amber Orrange as the only reliable ball-handler, and Orrange struggled a bit, going 1-for-4 from the field with six assists and four turnovers against Arizona (11-11, 3-8).
Mikaela Ruef took Kokenis' place in the starting lineup, and she produced a career high 11 points to go along with 10 rebounds for her first double-double of her career. But she is a much different kind of player from Kokenis. A forward who does her best work in the paint and on the defensive end, Ruef provides some muscle on the inside. She is not a ball-handler.
Kokenis is a versatile guard who provides ball-handling and playmaking support for Orrange on the perimeter. Her scoring average of 7.7 per game is down from last season's 9.5, but she is still a critical part of the Cardinal's system, and will play a major role in the Cardinal's postseason hopes.
Chiney Ogwumike had another double-double on Friday with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Joslyn Tinkle hit 3 of 4 three-point shots while collecting 15 points.
Stanford outrebounded Arizona 47-28, although that was due in large part to the Wildcats' poor shooting. The Cardinal's 12-7 advantage on the offensive boards was more representative of Stanford's rebounding edge.