Defense takes a vacation in Stanford women's hoop loss


The Stanford women's basketball team attempted 41 3-point shots on Sunday. The Cardinal made nine of them. It was not a good day for the shooters and an even worse day for Stanford's defense.

Mickaela Ruef delivered a career game with 16 points and 22 rebounds and it wasn't good enough. Chiney Ogwumike added yet another double-double and it still wasn't good enough.

"She was in there really battling, going basically the whole game," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Chiney didn't have a 'Chiney' game. We needed some shots to go down for her. A good double-double and I'm not saying that's her 'A' game."

The Cardinal trailed by as many as 16 points en route to an 87-82 loss at the hands of a young Washington team that had five players score in double figures on Sunday afternoon in Seattle.

"Washington put on an incredible performance," VanDerveer said. "I hope this loss really helps us, I hope that it gets our team's attention. We have not played well on this trip and I really feel like we have to use it to our advantage."

Ogwumike added 23 points and 14 rebounds as Stanford (11-1 in the Pac-12, 22-2 overall) had its overall 21-game winning streak and its 14-game winning streak over the Huskies snapped. The Cardinal also saw its 62-game road conference winning streak end.

"It was too little, too late," Ogwumike said. "We were really motivated to play toward the end, but the first 38 minutes we were a little lackadaisical on offense."

Stanford returns home to take on second-place Arizona State (9-3, 20-4), also an upset victim, on Friday at 7 p.m. The Sun Devils lost to last-place Arizona, 68-49.

"Nobody hung their head the entire game, we battled to the very end," Ruef said. "I think we will learn a lot from this game and learn to play more confidently over 40 minutes. Chiney did a really good job of not letting us get frustrated."

Washington beat its first top team in 24 years, when the Huskies handed Stanford its only loss of the 1990 season. The Cardinal went on to win the national championship.

Stanford remains two games ahead of the Sun Devils, while USC moves within three games of the Cardinal. There are five teams within two games of third place, with a coveted first-round bye for the conference tournament (which will be held in Seattle) at stake.

"We just have to push through. We got outplayed and outshot, but I think we'll learn a lot from this," Ogwumike said. "Mikaela did a really good job keeping everyone together."

Bonnie Samuelson added 14 points and Lili Thompson had 13 as Stanford shot just over 34 percent from the field, 22 percent from long range.

Ruef and Ogwumike combined to shoot 55 percent (16 of 29) while the rest of the team shot 23 percent.

Washington shot nearly 47 percent from the field and nearly 41 percent from 3-point range. The Huskies took a 41-34 lead into halftime and then maintained control in the second half.

The Huskies' 87 points were the most by a Stanford opponent since UCLA beat the Cardinal, 90-80, on Jan. 27, 2006.

"We did not shoot the ball well, and I can live with that," VanDerveer said. "But we did not defend them worth a lick."

Stanford started cold, missing its first seven 3-pointers, and Washington took advantage to build a 14-4 lead in the first 4:30.

The Cardinal came back to tie the game at 17 three minutes later, but the Huskies were able to hold the lead for most of the first half.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


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