Just a quick note on the Stanford Women’s Basketball team’s 75th home win, 69th Pac-12 win and 18th consecutive win overall tonight. They beat USC 69-52. Nneka Ogwumike lead all scorers with 22 points and 8 boards and sister Chiney scored 21 and had a double-double with 12 rebounds. She also had a career high 6 blocked shots. And she was a master at getting position to get those 12 rebounds.
Stanford started out quickly and was easily up 21-9, 10 minutes into the contest. Then all-everything Nneka had a seat, what with 2 fouls and all. Head coach Tara VanDerveer thought she could afford to rest her. And you guessed it, Stanford’s offensive went stagnate without her. At one point Chiney looked for someone to pass to on offense and when no one seemed to want the ball, she put her head down and drove to the basket to make her own points. All we can say is Chin-ney saved the day. Toni Kokenis played the third string and got 15 for the game, and that was it for Stanford scoring (La la la la la, we can’t hear you naysayers and detractors... more on you later).
Half time Stanford was up 33-22, and surprisingly, USC held a 20-19 rebounding edge. They did that by primarily focusing on boxing the heck out of the sisters Ogwumike. Did we mention USC is one of the many Pac-12 teams that also have sisters? They have Briana and Stefanie Gilbreath, who scored 11 and 9 respectively for USC. But you can only stop an Ogwumike for so long, and around the 13-minute mark in the second, the Ogwumikes made their move, opening up the lead with their athleticism and ability to find the basket. They just wear people out. Final score 69-52.
Tara VanDerveer left in the scoring sisters until the end. Why? Stanford had an 18-point lead with 4 minutes left. Why not rest your starters and give the youngsters a chance? Well, because Tara VanDerveer is having a feud with all of the East Coast. Think of it as an East Coast-West Coast thang.
Seems ESPN analysist Carolyn Peck dissed Stanford and the Pac-12 by publicly saying the Pac-12 is weak and Duke deserves to be the number 4 seed instead of Stanford when the NCAA tourney starts. Tara took umbrage to that (hey that’s twice in a month we’ve used such a big word) and said to SF Chron "Duke loses at home to Connecticut and loses to Kentucky," VanDerveer said, "but they should be the No. 1 seed because they play in this great ACC? What's so great about North Carolina?"
She pointed out that the No. 22 Tar Heels (17-5) are ranked even though they lost to Connecticut by 51 and Duke by 40 and their RPI is 101st in the country. "That's crazy," she said.
Stanford, by contrast has an RPI of 4. RPI stands for rating percentage index or what we think of as strength of schedule. Duke’s is 8.
If Tara is outraged, then Stanford fans are outraged and C and R are no exception, and we took to Twitter:
Coach Tara VanDerveer is mad at @CAROLYNPECK for picking Duke as #4 seed over Stanford, no respect for Pac-12
Due to the magic of twitter, Carolyn Peck wrote back to us. Little ol C and R. Here’s her tweet:
@StanfordWBBBlog No disrespect 2 Stanford but the ACC has 4 teams in the top 10 & total of 6 in top 25. Committee has 2 consider that.
I think that’s Tara’s point. At least half of those ACC teams shouldn’t be in the top 25, and maybe some of the Pac-12 should. (Tara has said publicly Cal should be top 25). Message boards around the Pac-12 (or Pac-10 as Carolyn kept calling it) were lit up all day.
Nneka Ogwumike moved past Another Stanford fave, Jayne Appel, into third place all time scoring for Stanford. Ahead of her is Kate Starbird and another, nother C and R fave Candice Wiggins. Candice has 2,629 and Nneka has around 2,143or so, so not sure if she can pass her.
Subplot #3-Big Head Nneka:
When C and R sat down opposite the opposing team’s bench like we do every home game, quite a few fans had blown up photographs of Nneka. C instantly coveted one, as she does all things Stanford and all things free. She spied twitter buddy @SGC72 amidst them. Moving her thumbs quickly, C ascertained that SC had some extras and that C should come over at half time. The minutes couldn’t tick by fast enough.
At the half, SC introduced C to the Glue-Stick lady of section 4 (we didn’t ask permission to use her name, so she is now Glue-Stick lady, but she was very, very nice). She gave out the pictures for free and asked if C wanted hers glued to a piece of cardboard for waving, on the condition she wave it the rest of the half. Deal.
On the way back to her seat, C spotted the announcers (a rare televised game) with the camera pointed at them with the red light on so she snuck behind them and held up Big Head Nneka and said “vote for Nneka for Senior Class award.” Let me know if that made it out to TV land.
After the game, when NO victories balls were thrown our way, C and R gave the picture of Nneka to a young fan that sits behind us and just loooves Nneka. We made her night, just as ours was made. You know, pay it forward and all, C and R’s motto…
So next game is UCLA Sunday, which is a Play4Kay game, so wear pink for breast cancer awareness. Michelle Smith of Left Coast Hoops is of the opinion Stanford needs to remain undefeated in Pac-12 play to keep the number 4 seed, so come on out to root them on. Seems like Stanford is not playing just against one team, but against all of the East Coast bias.
Follow C and R Twitter and see if the get in a feud with Caroly Peck, too!