STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Two months ago, New Mexico freshman Kianna Keller was fighting for playing time. Against No. 6 Stanford, she was fighting an All-America.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 24 of her 32 points in the first half and the Cardinal won their eighth straight, beating the Lobos 74-41 on Monday night.
"Kianna will be a good player," Lobos coach Yvonne Sanchez said. "This was a learning moment. She did some good things. She blocked one of Chiney's shots."
It's hard for anybody to guard last season's first team All-America, let alone a freshman making just her fourth career start.
"She was the third post player off the bench at one time," Sanchez said. "She's had to start because of injuries. I'm willing to let the young kids learn from this."
Keller is in the lineup because of season-ending injuries to three of the Lobos' front line players, including sophomore Whitney Johnson and junior Ebony Walker.
The Lobos tried everything to slow down Ogwumike, who has scored over 2,000 points and has more than 1,000 rebounds in her stellar career at Stanford.
"We tried to deny, we tried to front and we went into a zone," Sanchez said. "She's just that good."
Ogwumike became the fifth member of Stanford's 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound club with her fifth point of the game and moved into sole possession of third place on the rebounding list with 1,227, one more than her older sister Nnemkadi.
Mikaela Ruef had 10 rebounds and blocked three shots for the Cardinal (9-1), who host No. 3 Tennessee on Saturday.