No. 4 Stanford beats USC 79-55 for 9th win in row

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2013 at 12:38 am •  Published: February 16, 2013
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chiney Ogwumike gathered her fellow starters before the game and reminded them what time of year it is.

"It's February and this is what prepares us for March," she said before leading No. 4 Stanford to a 79-55 victory over Southern California on Friday night.

Ogwumike had 26 points and 15 rebounds for her record-setting 20th double-double of the season in the Cardinal's 12th straight win over the reeling Trojans.

Joslyn Tinkle added 17 points and 11 rebounds, Mikaela Ruef had a career-best 12 points and eight rebounds, and Amber Orrange had 10 points to help keep the Cardinal (23-2, 12-1 Pac-12) tied with No. 6 California atop the league standings. The Golden Bears beat 15th-ranked UCLA 79-51 earlier Friday. Stanford earned its ninth straight victory and improved to 14-0 away from home this season.

"Just different people stepping up in different roles this time of year is really important for us," Ogwumike said. "Our team was determined."

Alexyz Vaioletama scored 14 points and Cassie Harberts added 13 for the Trojans (8-16, 5-8), who have dropped five in a row and eight of nine. They shot 33 percent from the floor and went 13 of 17 from the free throw line.

Ogwumike's double-double bettered the single-season record that she and older sister Nneka set last season before Nneka graduated and began playing for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. Chiney has 50 double-doubles in her three-year career, one shy of Nneka's record of 51 set from 2008-12.

"I felt a little off-balance in the first half. I definitely forced a lot at some points," said Ogwumike, who had eight points in the half. "Their defense was very aggressive and physical and it took me a while to figure out how to handle the pressure. Having time to regroup and listen to coach and my teammates helped me come out with a fresh start."

The Trojans kept it close early in the game, which opened a stretch of four straight against ranked opponents. There were five lead changes and two ties in the first half before Stanford pulled away over the final 4:58.