Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 29 points to lead Stanford to a 77-62 victory over rival California in the championship game of the Pac-12 women's tournament. The Cardinal has won 28 games in a row, a school record.
LOS ANGELES — As if Nnemkadi Ogwumike wasn’t already dangerous enough on the inside, the Pac-12 player of the year showed she can score from long range, too.
Ogwumike scored 29 points, including her first three-pointers of the season, her younger sister Chiney Ogwumike added 17 points and No. 2 Stanford rolled to the Pac-12 tournament title with a 77-62 victory over California on Saturday.
The Cardinal extended its winning streak to a school-record 28 games.
“She did stuff today that we’ve never gone over, never practiced,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I said, ‘Nnemkadi, can you do this?’ and she said yes.”
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The Cardinal (31-1) won its ninth conference-tournament title while improving to 30-2 in the event that began in 2002. Stanford has won the last 78 times it has played a conference opponent.
Layshia Clarendon scored 20 points and freshman Brittany Boyd added 13 for the senior-less Golden Bears (24-9), making their second appearance in the final. They were the only team to force overtime against Stanford in the regular season, but couldn’t get untracked against the dominance of the Ogwumike sisters this time.
“The more film I watch, I’m more impressed with Chiney and Nnemkadi,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “I think they may be the best on court ever in terms of what they are relied on to do, and that’s before Nnemkadi started hitting threes from 30 feet.”
When Chiney wasn’t driving for layups, Nnemkadi was stepping out for three rare three-pointers. She made two in the second half that twice extended Stanford’s lead to 13 points.
“I’ve definitely worked on my three,” Nnemkadi said. “Tara’s always known all along that she thinks I can shoot out there. But Chiney always says there is a psychological barrier when I see the line.”
Both sisters were chosen for the all-tournament team, with senior forward Nnemkadi becoming the first three-time most outstanding player of the tournament.
“I can’t ask for a better two seasons with her,” said Chiney, a sophomore. “I know when we’re old and sitting together and looking back, I’m going to be like, ‘Man, that was perfect.’
“We still have things to work on, but I’m really enjoying this journey.”
Stanford has won 41 of its last 44 games against its Bay Area rival.