Defeating USC 69-52 on Feb. 9, the Stanford women’s basketball team extended its home winning streak to 75 games, second only to UConn.
While they were at it, the 21-1 team also recorded its 69th consecutive conference win and raised its current winning streak to 18.
Not to be overlooked, senior forward Nneka Ogwumike surpassed Jayne Appel, ’10, to advance to No. 3 on the team’s all-time scoring list. A free throw about seven minutes into the first half gave her the boost.
She finished the nationally televised game with a team-high 22 points, making her career total 2,143, according to the Nneka Watch on this website. She needs only 73 more points to pass Kate Starbird, ’97, and move into second place. Candice Wiggins, ’08, is on top with 2,629.
Playing 32 minutes, Nneka also had eight rebounds and one assist. Several fans in the crowd waved large posters with her picture.
Her sophomore sister, Chiney, was right behind her in scoring with 21 points along with 12 rebounds and one assist in 35 minutes. Doing her best Brittney Griner imitation, she had a career-high and team-high six blocks even though she’s 5 inches shorter than the Baylor star.
The only other player in double figures was sophomore guard Toni Kokenis, who had 15 points to go with five rebounds, five assists and one steal in a team-high 38 minutes.
It literally was a night for the fans as people received team fans upon entering Maples. One side, reading “Cardinal Rules,” features photos of the team’s sophomores, juniors and seniors. The other side reads “Go Stanford.” While many people kept the fans unfurled with that side high, others kept them folded and used them as noisemakers whenever a USC player went to the free throw line.
Overall, Stanford shot a respectable 48.9 percent compared with USC’s 29.3 percent. However, the 3-point percentage was a mere 16.7 percent with Toni and freshman Taylor Greenfield recording the only two treys. This was in marked contrast to the pre-game warmups, when all of the team’s outside shooters knocked in one after another from behind the arc.
During the half the crowd saluted the No. 6 nationally ranked lacrosse team, which was opening its season the next day against No. 1 Northwestern. The team got in some shot practice of its own by hurling mini-balls into the stands.
Fans also saw a new-look Tree with a brown trunk and face beneath scalloped, dark green fronds. When he twirled, the fronds spread out like a propeller.