February 24, 2012

Colorado strategy fails against Stanford

When the Colorado women’s basketball team visited Stanford on Feb. 23, it took a highly aggressive but risky approach. It worked for a while in the first half, but Stanford dominated the second half and closed with a 68-46 victory.

This win extended the Cardinal’s nation-leading home win streak to 78 games and marked head coach Tara VanDerveer’s 699th victory at the Stanford helm.

Colorado’s aggressiveness kept the game close during most of the first half and resulted in 15 of Stanford’s 19 turnovers. (Colorado also had 19 TO’s.) For the game, it resulted in 25 fouls, leading to 27 Stanford points. By comparison, Stanford committed only 14 fouls that led to 8 Colorado points. That was a 19-point Cardinal advantage in the 22-point victory.

All of Stanford’s points in the first four minutes came from free throws until sophomore forward Chiney Ogwumike broke the basket drought. She finished the game with 18 points to go with seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals.

Her scoring was topped only by her senior sister, forward Nneka Ogwumike, who tallied 23 points plus 11 rebounds, one block and one steal. Scoring her 13th point just before the first-half buzzer, Nneka moved past Kate Starbird, ’97, into second place on the team’s all-time scoring list. By the end of the game, her career total had risen to 2,230 points.

After the usual tossing of victory balls into the stands after the game, the players donned T-shirts commemorating their championship in the first Pac-12 season. Gloria Nevarez, Pac-12 senior associate commissioner, presented the championship trophy to Tara, who passed it on to the happy players.

After posing for a team picture in front of a Pac-12 championship banner, the team left the floor with Nneka carrying the trophy.

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