|Stanford guard Toni Kokenis (31) drives against Bakersfield guard Amber Williams (3) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stanford, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)|
No. 4 Stanford women roll past Bakersfield 90-48
STANFORD, Calif.—Earlier this month, Greg McCall recruited a senior volleyball athlete to give him seven players for practice at Cal State Bakersfield. Tika Smith hadn't played formal basketball since high school.
McCall has five players sidelined with serious knee injuries and can't always jump into drills himself. He is doing everything he can to build a program: like scheduling topnotch Stanford.
Joslyn Tinkle recorded career highs of 20 points and 11 rebounds to go with three blocks and two steals, and the Cardinal routed Cal State Bakersfield 90-48 on Thursday.
"It's a great honor, our girls looked at it as a great honor and privilege," McCall said of playing at Maples Pavilion. "To play a team like this is really good for our program, our university and the city of Bakersfield."
Freshman Bonnie Samuelson scored 14 points and Chiney Ogwumike added 10 on 5-for-5 shooting in 15 minutes as Stanford (9-1) followed up a commanding victory against sixth-ranked Tennessee two days earlier and extended its school-record home winning streak to 69 games.
"Obviously we soaked up that win Tuesday night and were very excited about that," Tinkle said. "We talked yesterday in practice that we're up there and want to stay there. We came in today and didn't let up. My job was to help set the tone."
This was one of the few easy games in what has been another daunting, NCAA tournament-like nonconference schedule for coach Tara VanDerveer's young group.
"This is in a lot of ways a really hard game when you come off the Tennessee game Tuesday night and it's so emotional and exciting," the 26th-year coach said. "We have a utility player in Joslyn. She stepped in and did a really nice job and was the glue to our team."
After Nnemkadi Ogwumike led the way in Tuesday night's 97-80 victory over Tennessee with a career-high 42 points, her little sister helped take charge in this one.
"When you have two excellent players like that, it gets the whole team going," Tinkle said. "You can't rely on them every game."
VanDerveer has been calling for more of her players to contribute, and Tinkle did her part. She went 8 of 11 from the field with two 3-pointers as Stanford shot 51.4 percent, and helped the Cardinal to a 51-32 rebounding advantage.
Amber Williams scored 14 points and Brooklynn Hinkens added 13 to lead cold-shooting Cal State Bakersfield (3-12), which lost for the 11th time in 12 games. The Roadrunners are currently making the transition to Division I under McCall at his alma mater.
Smith, done with volleyball, played in her third game of the season against Stanford.
"I thought our girls came out a little bit nervous, looking at the height," McCall said. "Once we calmed down and settled down I thought we played with a lot of effort. Playing a team of this caliber we want to make sure we keep our mental edge. If we play with some heart and effort you never know what the outcome is."
Nneka Ogwumike wound up with eight points, four rebounds and four assists while playing just 13 minutes for Stanford, which is dealing with the loss of freshman guard Jasmine Camp for the season because of a stress fracture in her left foot that will require surgery in early January.
Stanford also played without starting freshman forward Taylor Greenfield, who sat out as a precaution because of a sore hamstring.
Thursday's matinee hardly could live up to the raucous atmosphere from two days earlier, when a sellout crowd of 7,329 packed Maples Pavilion to cheer both the Cardinal and Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who has early onset Alzheimer's.
VanDerveer used this game to get all her players significant court time in the final tuneup before a holiday break and the start of Pac-12 play next Thursday at Southern California. The 11-time reigning Pac-10 champions, trying for a fifth straight trip to the Final Four come March, are favored to capture the inaugural Pac-12 crown.
Stanford made 10 of its first 14 shots, including two 3-pointers from Lindy La Rocque, and built a 23-5 lead at the 12:47 mark of the first half. The Cardinal led 47-17 at halftime on 53.8 percent shooting.
This marked the first meeting between the schools. The overmatched Roadrunners shot 10 for 32 from 3-point range and committed 20 turnovers, eight by Williams.
Camp played in the Cardinal's first eight games and started four before missing Tuesday's win over Tennessee. She averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 assists over 14.1 minutes per game, scoring a season-high 14 in a loss at Connecticut on Nov. 21.