PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) — It was a very successful trip to Mexico for Tara VanDerveer and Stanford.
The sixth-ranked Cardinal swept three games at the Puerto Vallarta Hardwood Tournament of Hope, VanDerveer reached the 900-win plateau and Stanford's freshmen gained valuable experience.
"This was a great trip for us," VanDerveer said. "We've grown a lot. Now we go home and get ready for finals and get ready for Gonzaga."
Chiney Ogwumike scored 29 points and had 12 rebounds to help Stanford to an 80-60 win over South Dakota State on Thursday. She earned tournament MVP honors after averaging 26 points and 11 rebounds in the three games. She also shot an incredible 78 percent from the field.
"Chiney was just awesome," VanDerveer said. "She had some help from other people. We need more help."
The win was the 901st of VanDerveer's career. She became the fifth women's coach to reach 900 on Wednesday with the Cardinal's victory over Florida Gulf Coast.
Mikaela Ruef had 12 rebounds and seven assists while Amber Orrange added 13 points and five steals for Stanford (7-1).
With the Cardinal leading 20-14, Karlie Samuelson converted a three-point play with 9:29 to go in the first half. That started a 20-2 run that broke the game open. Fellow freshman Kailee Johnson hit a pair of 3-pointers during the burst, and Stanford led 40-19 at halftime.
The four active Stanford freshmen combined for 30 points, led by Johnson's season-high 10. Erica McCall added nine points and seven rebounds.
"I think each freshman has had a game where they've shown what they are capable of," VanDerveer said. "McCall stepped up really big. We need them to really be consistent. They are really good. We're excited to see where we can go from here."
Megan Waytashek scored 13 points to lead South Dakota State (4-3).