P12: Stanford women beat Washington 76-57
LOS ANGELES—The open looks that Nnemkadi Ogwumike has become accustomed to getting in the post were negated by a tough opposing presence. All it took was a slight adjustment for her to find other ways to get on the scoreboard.
She scored 18 points to help second-ranked Stanford beat Washington 76-57 Thursday and advance to the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
"Scoring on the block today wasn't as easy as it usually was, so we tried to expand the post game by going out and cutting to the basket and looking for each other high-low," Ogwumike said. "I think it prepares us for the games that are coming up. It's not going to be handed to us from here on out."
Younger sister Chiney Ogwumike had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Bonnie Samuelson scored 11 points on three 3-pointers for the top-seeded Cardinal (29-1), who pulled away after halftime in their first game following a first-round bye.
"Washington came out and played really hard. They gave us challenge inside with Regina Rogers," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I thought it was a very good first game. But we have some things to work on for next game."
Stanford is looking for a ninth straight conference tournament title. The Cardinal will play Friday against the winner of Arizona-Arizona State.
Regina Rogers, Mackenzie Argens and Aminah Williams each scored 12 points for eighth-seeded Washington (17-13), which dug itself a hole by shooting 25.8 percent and committing eight turnovers in the first half.
"They had a great game plan," Washington coach Kevin McGuff said. "Defensively, they really forced us into a lot of tough shots and they were also really efficient on the offensive end."
Nnemkadi Ogwumike shook off a bloody nose and showed why she was the Pac-12 player of the year. The senior forward made eight of 13 shots and keyed a second-half run that resulted in the game's largest lead.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike had her hands full with the imposing Rogers, a first-team all-conference center. But she relished the opportunity of the physical matchup.
"It's always good to (play) a good post because it's a challenge, both defensively and offensively," said Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who has scored in double figures all but once this season.
The win was Stanford's 26th in a row since a November loss to Connecticut.
"When she went up for that basket my face was just where her elbow was," Nnemkadi Ogwumike said. "I don't think she tried to flagrantly foul me or anything, she just made her move."
Washington beat Oregon in the tournament opener Wednesday but wasn't able to muster a second win. The Huskies, who have not been to the NCAA tournament since 2007, made great strides under first-year coach McGuff with a six-win improvement from last season.
McGuff is holding out hope the season is not over and that the Huskies will be invited to the Women's NIT.
"I am really hopeful we have a chance to play," he said. "They deserve to be in postseason play. It would be a great reward for this team."
Jazmine Davis, the team's second-leading scorer and conference freshman of the year, struggled to eight points on just 2 of 18 shooting.
Stanford has won 76 consecutive games against conference opponents dating back to Jan. 22, 2009. It was also their 13th straight win over Washington.