Tara VanDerveer hugs Pat Summitt before Stanford's game against Tennessee at Maples Pavilion. Summitt, who revealed that she has early-onset dementia before the season, received a standing ovation when she walked onto the court.
The Stanford football team will probably watch a lot of film of Oklahoma State's vaunted offense over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the Fiesta Bowl. No disrespect to Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, but the Cardinal won't see anything nearly as impressive as what they witnessed on Tuesday night at Maples Pavilion.
Andrew Luck and his teammates were among the capacity crowd that welcomed Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt with a standing ovation and then watched Nneka Ogwumike score a career-high 42 points in No. 4 Stanford's 97-80 win over the No. 6 Vols. The win stretched Stanford's home winning streak to 68 games.
Ogwumike, who at one point made 11 straight shots, finished 19-for-27 from the field. She scored 19 points in the first half, 23 in the second, and added 17 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Her 42 points were four shy of the Stanford single-game record of 46, set by Jayne Appel in 2009.
Ogwumike owned the night, but the senior had plenty of support. Toni Kokenis scored a career-high 26 points, including five 3-pointers, while sister Chiney Ogwumike added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Freshman Bonnie Samuelson scored all 5 points of her points off the bench in the first half, as Stanford erased an early 9-point deficit to take a 48-41 lead into the break. It was the first time since 1999 that the Cardinal eclipsed the 40-point mark against Tennessee in the first half.
It was an emotional night on the Farm, with Summitt making her first appearance in Maples since announcing that she was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer honored the basketball coaching legend with a video tribute before the game and fans waved red "We back Pat!" rally towels. Watching on TV couldn't possibly compare to being there, so I'm looking forward to C&R's full report later tonight or tomorrow.
Congrats to Nneka and the team. Go Stanford!