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College

No. 2 Stanford Women Rout Arizona In Pac-10 Semis

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Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford. (AP)

Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford. (AP)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Ogwumike sisters proved too much inside, and if a lost contact lens and a chipped tooth couldn’t stop them, Arizona surely had no chance.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 32 points, her younger sister Chiney Ogwumike added 21 and No. 2 Stanford routed the fourth-seeded Wildcats 100-71 in the Pac-10 tournament semifinals on Friday.

“They’re pretty dang good,” Arizona coach Niya Butts said.

Freshman Chiney had 13 rebounds and junior Nnemkadi had 10 to help the top-seeded Cardinal (28-2) win its 22nd in a row overall and 56th consecutive league game. The Cardinal reached the 100-point mark for the third time this season and their points were the most scored in a Pac-10 tourney game.

“It’s like when Chiney gets a rebound, and it’s like I get a rebound. When Chiney scores, it’s like I scored,” Nnemkadi said. “We have an invisible extension between us. It’s a lot of fun to play with her. We are definitely feeding off each other. We give each other energy during the game.”

Stanford advanced to Saturday’s championship game at Staples Center against either second-seeded UCLA or No. 6 seed California, which met later. The Cardinal is seeking its fifth straight Pac-10 tourney title and eighth overall.

Kayla Pedersen added 16 points and Sarah Boothe 12 as the only other Cardinal players in double figures. The Ogwumike sisters helped Stanford dominate the boards, 41-29, and own a 64-18 edge in the paint.

“Sometimes it’s just natural for a sister to look for a sister,” Chiney said. “I usually know where she is, I know where she’s probably thinking about going, and sometimes that really makes it easy in the sport of basketball.”

The only suspense occurred after Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored the game’s first two baskets and her left contact lens popped out, something that happens often to both sisters. The game stopped while she went to the bench to put it back in.

Chiney briefly left the game in the second half after getting hit in the mouth. She chipped a tooth, the same one that’s been dinged before, and she returned to help Stanford extend its lead to 30 points.

“I’ve been known to get the butt of hits to the mouth,” she said. “I should be wearing my mouth guard more, which I will.”

Soana Lucet scored 17 points and Ify Ibekwe added 15 — making all nine of her free throws—for Arizona (21-11), which lost its 20th straight to the Cardinal. The Wildcats had their five-game winning streak end.

Stanford shot 53 percent in the first half, when the Cardinal led 45-24. Only two players other than the Ogwumike sisters scored, with Pedersen getting seven and Joslyn Tinkle two.

The Cardinal opened the game on a 13-3 run and later scored nine in a row as part of a 19-5 spurt that ended the half. Chiney already had a double-double at the break.

“The sisters are really, really big, and big post players,” said Lucet, who tangled with them down low. “It was pretty tough.”

The Wildcats cut their second-half deficit to 68-45 with nine straight points, including seven in a row by Lucet. Boothe and Chiney Ogwumike scored four straight, followed by Nnemkadi Ogwumike with five straight that pushed Stanford’s lead back to 30 points with 8:18 remaining.

“We didn’t have an answer for them today, but no one has really had an answer for them all year long,” Butts said.

The Cardinal ran through the league regular season schedule with an 18-0 record for the second straight year.

After playing the first two rounds at USC’s Galen Center, the women’s tournament moved to Staples, where Arizona-Stanford was the first women’s college basketball game played in the nearly 11-year-old arena.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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