No. 1 Stanford thumps Gonzaga
Stanford brought more to Spokane than its No. 1 ranking.
The Cardinal, known for their inside power, also showed off a secret outside weapon Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Sophomore forward Taylor Greenfield came off the bench to register career highs of six 3-pointers and 18 points as Stanford (8-0) overwhelmed Gonzaga 69-41 in the fifth meeting between the teams in the last four seasons. Stanford has won all five.
Greenfield hit four 3-pointers during the first 11 minutes and 43 seconds to help the Cardinal build a 23-5 lead. Gonzaga (6-2) never came closer than 14 points after that.
“Teams want to take away our inside game with Chiney (Ogwumike), especially, and Joss (Joslyn Tinkle), so sometimes they just kind of lose sight of what’s going on outside,” Greenfield said.
Greenfield hit 4 of 5 from the outside in the first half and finished 6 for 8.
All-American junior forward Ogwumike scored 12 of her 21 points in the second half and finished with a game-best 11 rebounds. Senior forward Tinkle, of Missoula, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds after a slow start.
“When someone’s hitting from the outside, (the other team has) to respect the outside shot and then that means it free things up on the inside,” Ogwumike said.
Stanford became the top-ranked team in the Associated Press poll by defeating defending NCAA champion Baylor 71-69 on Nov. 16.
The Cardinal never trailed Sunday, piecing together runs of 8-0 and 11-0 while Gonzaga missed 13 of its first 14 field-goal attempts. The Bulldogs shot 7 of 39 (18 percent) from the floor in the first half and finished 17 of 67 (25 percent).
“We’ve seen great teams from Gonzaga and this is a young team,” said coach Tara VanDerveer, who won her 717th game at Stanford. “I thought they were very physical. I thought they played very hard and they rebounded really well. … They didn’t shoot as well as some other Gonzaga teams have.”
Gonzaga rotated four defenders on Ogwumike, having the most success with 6-foot-5 Shelby Cheslek. The 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman from Pullman had four points, four rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals off the bench while playing longer (25 minutes) than any Bulldog except senior point guard Taelor Karr.
“Shelby’s our future,” GU coach Kelly Graves said. “The game changes when she’s in the game. She … has some work to do, but I thought defensively she was a factor tonight.”
“They were trying to keep fresh people on me, which isn’t something new. It’s something to be expected,” said Ogwumike, who shot 9 for 16 from the floor. “They were trying to be physical, so I hope we retaliated a little bit.”
Karr and junior guard Haiden Palmer, with 10 points apiece, were the only Bulldogs to score more than five points.
“It’s a disappointing day because I thought we could have given them a run for their money,” Karr said. “But at the same time, give them credit. They’re No. 1 for a reason.”