March 4, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - No. 2 Stanford capped a second straight unbeaten run through the Pac-10 Conference with a 75-51 victory over rival California on Thursday night. Rachelle Federico scored 16 points, Lindsay Sherbert had 13 and Layshia Clarendon 12 for the Golden Bears (15-14, 7-11),
Nnemkadi Ogwumike returned to full strength from an ankle injury to score 16 points and grab eight rebounds and Stanford capped a second straight unbeaten run through the Pac-10 Conference with a 75-51 victory over rival California on Thursday night.
"We want a No. 1 seed and we have to go down to L.A. and play well," coach Tara VanDerveer said.
Yes, next up is preparing for the conference tournament in Los Angeles - after a much-needed three-day break this weekend, that is.
Jeanette Pohlen added 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Cardinal (27-2, 18-0) extended their school record winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 61 and also captured their 55th in a row against conference opponents.
Stanford has won 21 in a row since losing back-to-back games at DePaul and Tennessee in December.
"We're taking three days off. Our team earned it, we need it," VanDerveer said. "We barely had Christmas. I don't even remember it. We've been going, going, going. We need a break. We're taking it."
Rachelle Federico scored 16 points, Lindsay Sherbert had 13 and Layshia Clarendon 12 for the Golden Bears (15-14, 7-11), who looked better for a half than the 78-45 loss to Stanford in Berkeley on Jan. 2.
Kayla Pedersen had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the Cardinal's sixth consecutive victory in the rivalry.
Pedersen scored two of three straight transition baskets to start the second half by Stanford, which clinched its 11th straight regular-season conference crown last weekend. After Federico had back-to-back baskets to get Cal within nine, Chiney Ogwumike converted a three-point play on the other end moments later.
Her big sister, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, the reigning Pac-10 player of the year, went 6 for 12 from the field, made 4 of 7 free throws and also had three steals in 37 minutes. She came back for 12 minutes in last Saturday's 99-60 rout of Oregon after missing two games with a sprained right ankle.
"They're a great team," Federico said. "The first thing said to them after their little huddle, 'Hey, go win a national championship."'
Cal, which snapped a six-game losing streak last weekend with a 58-49 win over Oregon State, had to deal with another off night by leading scorer DeNesha Stallworth.
Stallworth was held to no points on 0-for-3 shooting. That after she finished with two points on 0-for-2 shooting the last time the teams played.
That previous meeting between the schools came in the Cardinal's first game after snapping then-No. 1 Connecticut's record 90-game winning streak with a 71-59 victory Dec. 30 at Maples. The Bears shot just 35 percent in that one and were outrebounded 49-26.
This time, the Cardinal shot 51.8 percent, held a 40-28 rebounding advantage and forced 16 turnovers while overcoming 15 of their own to win for the 48th time in the past 53 meetings in the Bay Area rivalry. Cal went 1 for 9 from 3-point range in the second half as Stanford increased its pressure on defense.
Cal began the game by making 7 of 10 field goals and knocked down its initial three 3-pointers, two by Federico, on the way to a quick 17-12 lead. Stanford then answered with an 18-5 run and the Cardinal led 38-33 at halftime.
"I'm proud of my team for the way we came out. We've been struggling for confidence," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said. "We just didn't shoot the ball well like we did in the first half. They definitely took their defense up a notch at the end of the first half into the second."
The Cardinal also went unbeaten in regular-season conference play in back-to-back years in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
The Bears will head to the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles. They are awaiting the outcome of Saturday's Pac-10 regular-season finales to find out who they will be playing in the first round which begins on Wednesday, March 9. The Bears will most likely be playing at 7:15 that evening.