TEMPE, Ariz. – Kayla Pedersen had 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and No. 4 Stanford pulled away in the second half to beat Arizona State 72-54 Thursday night for its 47th straight Pac-10 win, one short of the all-time record.
Stanford (19-2, 10-0 Pac-10) labored through a sloppy first half and grinded it out by getting the ball inside in the second. The Cardinal can tie their own conference record, set from 1995-98, against Arizona on Saturday.
Jeanette Pohlen had 19 points, Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 17 and her sister, Chiney, grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cardinal, who outscored Arizona State 34-18 inside.
The Sun Devils (13-7, 5-5) shot 30 percent and were 1 for 10 from 3-point range, yet still managed to keep it close well into the second half. Kimberly Brandon led Arizona State with 18 points.
Stanford has been on a roll since consecutive road losses to DePaul and Tennessee in December.
The Cardinal ended top-ranked Connecticut's record winning streak at 90 games on Dec. 30 and cruised through the first half of Pac-10 play, winning their first nine games by an average of 35 points. The 19-time Pac-10 champions set a school record with 68 rebounds against Oregon last Thursday, then beat Oregon State by 30 two days later, their 12th straight victory overall.
Arizona State didn't figure to have much of a chance against the mighty Cardinal.
The Sun Devils shot 23 percent the first go-round against Stanford, an 82-35 loss in the Bay Area on Jan. 8, and went into this one without leading scorer and catalyst Dymond Simon due to a concussion suffered against USC.
Arizona State is a scrappy bunch, though, and wasn't going to go down without a fight, giving Stanford all it could handle in the first half.
Defensively, they stripped dribblers and jumped into passing lanes, forcing the uncharacteristically careless Cardinal into 13 turnovers. On offense, Arizona State was both patient and fearless, waiting for the right opportunity then driving into the teeth of Stanford's defense to repeatedly get to the rim and the foul line.
Despite shooting 8 of 26 and missing all four of their 3-point attempts, the Sun Devils were down just 32-27 at the half, scoring five fewer points than they did the entire first game.
Continuing to scrap, Arizona State kept it close well into the second half by continuing to attack, forcing the Cardinal into a zone about 6 minutes in.
Stanford was just too good inside.
Working the ball to Pedersen and the Ogwumike sisters, Stanford started to wear Arizona State down, beginning with a 6-0 run that made it 48-35 with just over 11 minutes. The Sun Devils tried to claw back, but the Cardinal kept pounding it inside, pulling away for their 11th straight win over Arizona State.