Ogwumike lifts No. 4 Stanford women past Utah

Updated at: 01/06/2013 4:07 PM
By LYNN DeBRUIN

(AP) SALT LAKE CITY - Chiney Ogwumike scored 20 points, Sara James added a career-high 18 and No. 4 Stanford defeated Utah 70-56 on Sunday.

The Cardinal (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12) extended their conference winning streak to 80 games and improved to 15-0 against the Utes.

Ogwumike entered the game having posted 10 straight double-doubles, but she managed just six rebounds against the Utes.

Iwalani Rodrigues led Utah (9-4, 0-2) with 21 points. Freshman Paige Crozon added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

The Utes were within 37-35 with 14:32 left following a layup by Taryn Wicijowski on a nice feed by Danielle Rodriguez. But Ogwumike sparked a 10-2 Stanford run with a contested jumper. Joslyn Tinkle capped the run with a steal and layup and 47-37 Cardinal lead.

Stanford led 29-24 at halftime but it was a struggle to score against the Pac-12’s second-ranked defense. The Cardinal hit just 3 of 13 shots in the first 6 1/2 minutes and 13 of 31 in the first half.

Utah had an even harder time scoring as layups spun out and 3-pointers wouldn’t stay down.

The Utes were shooting 25 percent at one point and 31 percent (9 of 29) at halftime. Utah stayed close in the first thanks to an 11-0 edge in second-chance points and the bench play of Crozon. The 6-1 guard had already doubled her season average 12 minutes in with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, including her second 3-pointer that pulled Utah to 16-14.

A 3-pointer by Rodrigues had Utah within 20-19 only to see James counter with her second 3 to fuel a 9-3 Stanford run.

Ogwumike missed her first three shots and wouldn’t score until 13:20 remained in the half. She had eight points at halftime.

Utah’s best player, Michelle Plouffe, finished with 10 points but made just 4 of 16 shots. Utah was not whistled for a foul in the first half.

Stanford opened Pac-12 play Friday with a dominating win over previously undefeated Colorado on Friday, holding the Buffs to season-low 28.8 percent shooting and 40 points.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Cardinal, which has a home-and-home series with No. 7 California, then faces No. 16 UCLA The Golden Bears beat Utah 55-50 on Friday

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)