STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — After a slow start, Chiney Ogwumike got herself adjusted and returned to her normal production. That led to a victory that was far from easy.
Ogwumike had 21 points and 15 rebounds in helping No. 4 Stanford hold off UCLA's upset bid, beating the Bruins 72-55 on Friday night.
UCLA was still within six points of the Cardinal with under nine minutes left to play in the game before seemingly withering over the final seven minutes.
Ogwumike, second in the nation in field goal percentage, missed five of her first six shots against an aggressive Bruins defense that shifted between zone and man defense to find ways to slow down the All-American.
"They're physical, within the context of the game and how it was officiated," Ogwumike said. "It took me a while to adjust to their physicality. In the interim, my teammates stepped up while I was struggling."
Lili Thompson added 15 points for the Cardinal (18-1, 7-0 in the Pac-12), who won their 17th straight since losing at top-ranked Connecticut in November. Erica McCall added 11 points and Sara James had 10.
"Coach has always been talking about needing more people to step up," McCall said. "I think it all started to click."
Ogwumike made nine of her final 12 shots to help the Cardinal put some distance between themselves and the Bruins.
"We came out in the second half and really got it going," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We attacked better and we rebounded better."
Atonye Nyingifa scored 18 points to lead the Bruins (10-10, 4-4 Pac-12), who had won three of their previous four games. Nirra Fields scored 13 points.