Oregon Falls To No. 4 Stanford, 96-66
STANFORD (CBS/AP) — Paul Westhead’s Oregon players left him completely baffled. Even if Stanford had plenty to do with the coach’s bewilderment.
Just when the much-improved, healthy-at-last Ducks seemed on a nice roll heading into Pac-12 Conference play, they ran right into powerhouse Stanford and All-American Chiney Ogwumike.
Ogwumike had 33 points and 14 boards to become the Pac-12’s all-time leading rebounder, and No. 4 Stanford beat Oregon 96-66 on Friday night in the conference opener for both schools.
After this blowout on both ends of the floor, Westhead was left to wonder how his team might respond going forward.
“I have no idea, but I can tell you right now I flat out didn’t expect this,” Westhead said. “Tardy defense to mediocre offense and you get 60-some points. It’s a joke.”
Bonnie Samuelson came off the bench to match her career best of six 3-pointers on the way to a career-high 21 points as the Cardinal (12-1, 1-0) kicked off the conference schedule with a dominant win at Maples Pavilion after another impressive preseason.
Ogwumike has 1,271 rebounds and moved past Pedersen’s previous conference and Stanford record of 1,266. Ogwumike scored eight points in the initial 4 1/2 minutes of the second half and sat down for good to a standing ovation with 5:34 remaining. She was three points shy of her career high.
“Honestly, there are few times when I’m speechless,” Ogwumike said. “Records, I just have great teammates and I love playing for my team. I think they’re great headlines or something.”
Ogwumike shot 15 for 19 in her team’s 11th straight win since losing at No. 1 Connecticut on Nov. 11, an unbeaten run that includes a 76-70 victory against then-No. 3 Tennessee on Dec. 21.
Jillian Alleyne had 26 points and 13 rebounds for Oregon (9-3, 0-1), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped and shot just 33.8 percent while converting only 12 of 23 free throws.
Ariel Thomas added 11 points and six rebounds for Westhead’s typically fast-paced team, which came in averaging a nation’s-leading 105.3 points — the only women’s team averaging more than 100.
“My team’s going to have to get better,” Westhead said.
The Cardinal produced the kind of balanced performance Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer has hoped to see as Stanford began its chase for a 14th consecutive conference regular-season crown with the program’s 18th straight victory over Oregon dating to a win on Feb. 24, 2005.
“I like the fact so many people contributed,” VanDerveer said. “We need consistent play. We need to figure out who’s going to be out there and get things done.”
Stanford used an 8-0 spurt to build a 22-13 lead midway through the opening half then a later 10-0 run to go ahead 35-20 on Ogwumike’s jumper 5:22 before halftime.
Samuelson hit back-to-back baseline 3-pointers then another from the other baseline during a run of four straight 3s by Stanford late in the first half, including one by her younger sister, Karlie.
Oregon’s clogging zone forced Stanford to shoot from the outside, determined to make others get involved and not let Ogwumike win it by herself. Lili Thompson and Taylor Greenfield each added two 3-pointers as Stanford shot 12 for 24 from behind the arc. Amber Orrange added eight assists.
The cold-shooting Ducks missed their first nine 3-point tries and wound up 6 for 26. Alleyne’s 11-for-15 shooting effort provided the highlight.
Oregon has made big strides just by being healthy after finishing last in the Pac-12 during an injury-plagued 2012-13 season.
A matchup featuring the conference’s top two scorers in Ogwumike (25.8 points) and Oregon freshman Chrishae Rowe (24.5) was thoroughly lopsided — more so once Oregon switched from a zone to man-to-man defense early in the second half allowing Ogwumike to take over.
And Rowe didn’t score her first points until 7:49 before halftime. She finished with 11 points on 3-for-16 shooting.
Stanford’s defense focused on keeping Oregon in check on the perimeter.
The Ducks, who play five of their first six conference games away from Eugene, are 1-27 at Stanford.
“Not my first time around with Stanford. They’re always very good perimeter people who get themselves positioned to make perimeter shots,” Westhead said. “The reality from our perspective was we were tardy in our coverage. Everything goes downhill from there. It was almost like one thing plays off another.”
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