Fifth-year senior Mikaela Ruef gets plenty of love from her teammates and goes overlooked by just about everyone else.
Her performance in No. 4 Stanford's 79-64 Pac-12 women's basketball victory over host California on Sunday could go a long way in drawing some attention.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 29 points under heavy pressure, and Ruef was one of the reasons Ogwumike, who also had eight rebounds and blocked three shots, was able to get to the basket.
"Chiney is just in there and they've got to deal with her and she finishes really well," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
Ruef scored nine points, including a 5-of-6 effort from the foul line, grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and generated a team best five assists. She made all four of her foul shots over the final 1:40 and the Cardinal went 11-of-12.
In two meetings with Cal, Ruef defended Reshanda Gray, who entered the week as Cal's leading scorer with 17.3 points per game and shooting 59.3 percent.
She scored seven points on 3-for-9 shooting over the two games against Ruef.
Karlie Samuelson, who has become an offensive force, added 16 points, including a 7-of-7 performance from the foul line. Amber Orrange had 13 points.
Stanford (10-0, 21-1) heads into Friday's game at Washington State with a 20-game winning streak and a two-game lead over second-place Arizona State.
The Cardinal allowed Cal to recover from a 30-point deficit in its 70-64 victory on Thursday and the Bears felt they could carry that momentum into Sunday's game.
Cal held a 3-point lead after the first seven minutes. Ogwumike, who scored 10 of Stanford's first 15 points, gave the Cardinal a lead soon after, and Stanford never looked back.
"Our No. 1 goal coming into the game was to be aggressive," Ogwumike said. "We wanted to get all the loose balls, the hustle plays. When we have fun as a team, it's really good basketball for us."
Bonnie Samuelson's 3-pointer with 7:48 remaining to play in the game gave Stanford a 19-point advantage at 60-41. That's a comfortable lead for the Cardinal, with the exception of Cal.
Brittany Boyd made a pair of free throws with 3:39 left to bring the Golden Bears within 64-55. That was as close as they came the rest of the way.
Ogwumike now has 2,364 points, 127 shy of her older sister, Nnemkadi, for second place on Stanford's all-time scoring list.
Ogwumike continued to extend her Pac-12 and Cardinal career rebounding record to 1,384.