No. 9 Stanford overpowers No. 4 Xavier 89-52

December 29, 2010, 3:12 am
Share This Post

Dec. 28, 2010

STANFORD,Calif. (AP) Tara VanDerveer sent her players home for a short holidaybreak with a scouting report DVD. Her players sure showed up as ifthey'd studied the film and then some.Bring on unbeaten Connecticut.Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 23 points and11 rebounds and No. 9 Stanford pulled off a surprising rout offourth-ranked Xavier with an 89-52 victory Tuesday for its 51ststraight home win.What a tuneup for Thursday's highly anticipated showdown with top-ranked UConn."This was a real important game forour team," VanDerveer said. "I'm really proud of how everyone prepared.Everyone really knew what we needed them to do and they came out anddid it."Jeanette Pohlen added 19 points, ninerebounds, six assists and three steals and Kayla Pedersen had 14 pointsfor the Cardinal (8-2), who beat the third-seeded Musketeers in theSacramento Regional last March when Pohlen drove the length of thefloor in 4.4 seconds and scored the game-winning layin as time expiredfor a 55-53 victory. That win sent Stanford back to its third straightFinal Four. The play was shown over and over again on the highlightreels.This game lacked any such drama.Amber Harris had 18 points and ninerebounds for cold-shooting Xavier (10-2), which lost its secondstraight game after a 10-0 start.Special Jennings had 12 points andTa'Shia Phillips grabbed 12 rebounds for the overmatched Musketeers,who were coming off a 46-45 defeat at Duke on Dec. 21 for their firstloss of the season. They committed 30 turnovers and shot 38 percent inthat game, then didn't look much better in shooting 30 percent againstStanford."They won that game in the firstfour minutes. They came out with a lot of energy and a lot of intensityand we were kind of on our heels," Jennings said. "We just didn't showup today. I don't know what else to say. We did not play the way we arecapable, and the way we are known to play."The Cardinal came out with energy onboth ends of the floor in their first game since VanDerveer became thesixth women's coach to get 800 wins with a 100-45 victory over formerStanford stars turned coaches Jennifer Azzi and Katy Steding at SanFrancisco last Wednesday.Next up: UConn on Thursday night atsold-out Maples Pavilion. It's a rematch of last year's NCAAchampionship won 53-47 by the Huskies after Stanford led 20-12 athalftime."It's coming and we're veryexcited," VanDerveer said. "This is December and I think we're reallymaking great progress. For us to have played who we've played, I feellike we've played a brutal schedule. With the exception of USF we'vehad to work really hard, and I think that will pay off for us Thursdayand pay off for us in the Pac-10. Our team will be focused. They willbe ready. I know they will have a great effort and we will learn moreabout our team."The Cardinal are the last team to beat the Huskies, in the 2008 national semifinals in Tampa, Fla.UConn was set to play later Tuesdayat Pacific in Stockton going for its 90th straight victory in what wasexpected to be a lopsided warmup for the game with Stanford."Today we came out and we were sofocused and we were very aggressive," Pedersen said. "We're going tohave to be even more aggressive than we were today. Going into halftimewe're going to have to keep the momentum and come out in the secondhalf and be the aggressor."Stanford held a 44-41 reboundingadvantage against the imposing front line featuring the 6-foot-6Phillips and 6-5 Harris - who combined for 34 rebounds in the loss toDuke. But Harris, the team's leading scorer at 20.2 points per game,wasn't in the starting lineup Tuesday after sitting out Monday'spractice as a medical precaution after she was hit against Duke andsuffered concussion-like symptoms. Harris checked in at the 16:26 mark,started the second half and wound up 6 for 11 from the floor.Freshman Chiney Ogwumike added 10points, five rebounds and four steals for Stanford, which committedonly eight turnovers while forcing 17.Xavier missed its first 10field-goal tries before Katie Rutan hit a 3-pointer at the 13:49 markof the first half. The Musketeers went 2 for 18 from 3-point range inthe game and began 5 for 21 to fall behind 37-24 at halftime. Phillipsdidn't score her first points until a basket with 7:11 left in theopening half.Ogwumike had 15 points and eightrebounds by halftime, including making 5 of 5 free throws. Stanford gotto the line 11 times and converted 10.The Musketeers didn't look all thatinspired considering the way the tournament game ended. Xavier's DeeDee Jernigan missed two wide-open layins in the closing 12 seconds thatlikely would have sent the Musketeers to San Antonio for their firstFinal Four - but they watched as Pohlen won it instead.Last season's meeting in the NCAA tournament was the only other matchup between these programs.

More Team Talk