No. 6 Stanford women rout No. 15 Arizona State
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford returned home after a frustrating defeat with a single-minded focus to rediscover its stingy defense.
From the opening tip, the Cardinal found it, all right.
Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and 13 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season and No. 6 Stanford bounced back from its first loss in nearly three months with a surprising 61-35 rout of 15th-ranked Arizona State on Friday night.
“Last week we weren’t satisfied with our defense at all. I told our team it was like we were being reborn,” Ogwumike said. “I like the direction we’re going in starting today. We were anxious. We have something to prove. I haven’t seen us this excited about playing defense in a long time. That’s a good thing.”
Amber Orrange added 14 points, three assists and matched her career high with five steals in the Cardinal’s 16th straight win against Arizona State.
Stanford (23-2, 12-1 Pac-12), on track for the program’s 14th consecutive regular-season conference title, jumped out to an early lead and was never challenged by the league’s second-place team.
Nobody reached double figures for the cold-shooting Sun Devils (20-5, 9-4), who have their first two-game skid of the season after having a five-game winning streak snapped in a 68-49 loss to rival Arizona on Sunday.
Ogwumike, who played 27 minutes, and the rest of the Stanford starters got plenty of rest. Orrange’s 30 minutes were the most by a starter.
“Amber got on a mission,” coach Tara VanDerveer said. “This is the Amber we know and love, and it was really fun to see.”
The Cardinal returned to their home court in Maples Pavilion on a mission coming off their first conference defeat, 87-82 last weekend at Washington in which they shot just 34.6 percent overall and 22 percent from 3-point range.
Stanford’s smothering defense caused Arizona State trouble from the opening tip. VanDerveer thought the defense lacked intensity in the loss at Seattle that snapped a 62-game road conference winning streak for the Cardinal. It also ended Stanford’s 14-game unbeaten run against the Huskies.
That marked Stanford’s first loss since Nov. 11 at No. 1 Connecticut.
The Cardinal avoided losing back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 16 and 19, 2010, at No. 22 DePaul and at No. 6 Tennessee. They didn’t hit a 3-pointer (0 for 4) for the first time since Jan. 8, 2013, in a win at California.
“I think our team showed they’re really competitive. They didn’t like what happened last week and it got our attention,” VanDerveer said. “I was really thankful we could get a lot of people in, play some young people and have them get experience and see what it’s going to be like.”
Arizona State scored one point over its first 11 possessions, missing its first 10 shots before Promise Amukamara’s jumper on the Sun Devils’ 13th possession with 11:51 left in the half. Amukamara and Sophie Brunner scored nine points apiece.
“We just missed everything. They did set the tone well, bringing a lot of energy,” Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. “We just didn’t have the discipline on our team to work our offense.”
The Sun Devils were 1 for 20 and fell behind 20-3 before Brunner’s bank shot from close range with 6:58 left before halftime. They shot 17.2 percent (5 for 29), missed all four of their 3-point tries, committed six first-half turnovers, shot 2 of 7 from the free-throw line and trailed 32-12 at intermission.
The Sun Devils’ 12 points matched an all-time low by a Stanford conference opponent in the first half, last done by Washington on Dec. 30, 2007. Arizona State went 1 for 12 from 3-point range and shot 24.2 percent overall.
Stanford’s opponent-low for points came in a 60-34 win against Washington State on Feb. 8, 2007.
“We stayed with things, and on a night when any of us just could have wanted to hide our head and cry because we missed everything,” Turner Thorne said. “It would have been easy to just get our doors blown off. ... Nobody had a meltdown. I’ve coached here a lot of times, we’ve had a lot of meltdowns here.”