No. 1 Stanford topples No. 10 Tennessee 73-60
- Article by: STEVE MEGARGEE
- Associated Press
- December 22, 2012 - 6:46 PM
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike has at least one career achievement that eluded her older sister.
Ogwumike had 21 points and a career-high 19 rebounds Saturday and Stanford remained undefeated with a 73-60 victory at No. 10 Tennessee, giving the top-ranked Cardinal only their second win at Knoxville in 13 attempts.
Stanford won at Tennessee for the first time since an 82-65 victory on Dec. 15, 1996.
Ogwumike's older sister, Nneka Ogwumike of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, scored 42 points in Stanford's 97-80 win over Tennessee last year.
But the No. 1 pick in the most recent WNBA draft never won at Tennessee during her college career.
"One thing Nneka didn't do was get a win here at Tennessee, so I wanted to one-up her," Ogwumike said. "It was a great game."
Tennessee coach Holly Warlick questioned her team's effort after the game and was more disappointed in this performance than she was after a 76-53 loss at No. 3 Baylor on Tuesday.
"This will change," Warlick said. "As coaches, we'll make some changes too. It's time to grow up."
Bashaara Graves had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Tennessee (7-3). Meighan Simmons added 12 points, while Ariel Massengale and Cierra Burdick had 11 points each.
Stanford's Amber Orrange scored 14 points. Toni Kokenis and Bonnie Samuelson each added 11 points and Joslyn Tinkle had 10 points for the Cardinal, who host No. 2 Connecticut in their next game Dec. 29.
"The most important thing now is that we keep improving and stay healthy," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We've got great leadership and great chemistry. I'm hoping that we'll be playing better in March and April."
Tennessee was seeking its first home win over a top-ranked opponent since a 77-72 victory over Louisiana Tech on Jan. 22, 1996. The Lady Vols are 14-32 against top-ranked opponents, and they're 2-11 when facing No. 1 teams at home.
Stanford (11-0) was coming off a 53-49 squeaker at No. 21 South Carolina on Wednesday, but the Cardinal never trailed Tennessee and owned a double-digit lead most of the way.
Facing a national title contender for the second straight game, the Lady Vols again struggled to make shots.
Tennessee missed its first 11 shots against Baylor to fall behind 17-0 and went on to trail 41-16 at the intermission, its largest halftime deficit in school history.
The Lady Vols shot 31.9 percent against Stanford and missed their first 12 attempts from 3-point range.
Stanford grabbed a 33-21 halftime lead by relying on Ogwumike and capitalizing on Tennessee's cold shooting.
Ogwumike, who entered the game averaging 21.9 points and 12.2 rebounds, had 13 points and 12 rebounds by halftime.
The 6-foot-4 junior finished the game with a career-high five assists to go along with her eighth consecutive double-double.
"The most important thing was that she didn't get in foul trouble," VanDerveer said. "It was disciplined basketball. She does everything for us. She's a leader. She puts the team on her back. She made her big sister Nneka proud today."
After a Burdick jumper tied the score 8-8 with 14:44 left in the first half, Stanford went on a 13-2 run. Tennessee missed 12 consecutive shots at one point during that Stanford run.
"We let our offense dictate our defense," Burdick said. "I feel like I'm a broken record because I said the same exact thing against Baylor. You would think we would have gone back to the drawing board and fixed that, but apparently we haven't. That's what hurts so bad. We had a great opportunity in front of us to beat the No. 1 team in our house and we just couldn't get the job done."
Tennessee cut the lead to 10 early in the second half, but Stanford answered with an 11-2 run.
The Lady Vols chipped away at the 19-point deficit and got the lead down to nine when Burdick made one of two free throws with 8:43 left. Ogwumike answered with a putback on Stanford's next possession, and the margin didn't drop below 10 points again.
Even though Tennessee's offense improved in the second half, the Lady Vols couldn't make enough stops to have a realistic shot at pulling the upset.
"We would make a stop, then give up an offensive rebound," Warlick said. "If you can't do those things, then you had better hope you're going to shoot in the 50s or 60s (or) you're not going to win the basketball game. This program was built on defense and rebounding, and that is not a typical Tennessee team right there. That's not going to get it done. That's not acceptable, and I'll take responsibility for that. They will be ready."
While Tennessee searches for answers, Stanford continues playing with the sense of purpose that accompanies a No. 1 ranking. Stanford's 71-69 victory over defending national champion Baylor on Nov. 16 has helped the Cardinal believe they're capable of anything.
"It gave us a lot of confidence," Ogwumike said. "This year, we lost my sister Nneka. The people outside and inside the team doubted how well we'd do this year."
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