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No. 2 Stanford caps 2nd unbeaten Pac-10 run in row

Nnemkadi Ogwumike returned to full strength from an ankle injury to score 16 points and grab eight rebounds and No. 2 Stanford capped a second straight unbeaten run through the Pac-10 Conference with a 75-51 victory over rival California on Thursday night.

Jeanette Pohlen added 18 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Cardinal (27-2, 18-0) extended their school record winning streak at Maples Pavilion to 61 and also captured their 55th in a row against conference opponents.

Rachelle Federico scored 16 points, Lindsay Sherbert had 13 and Layshia Clarendon 12 for the Golden Bears (15-14, 7-11), who looked better for a half than in an embarrassing 78-45 rout by Stanford in Berkeley on Jan. 2.

Kayla Pedersen had 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the Cardinal's sixth consecutive victory in the rivalry.

Pedersen scored two of three straight transition baskets to start the second half by Stanford, which clinched its 11th straight regular-season conference crown last weekend. After Federico had back-to-back baskets to get Cal within nine, Chiney Ogwumike converted a three-point play on the other end moments later.

Her big sister, Nneka Ogwumike, the reigning Pac-10 player of the year, went 6 for 12 from the field, made 4 of 7 free throws and also had three steals in 37 minutes. She came back for 12 minutes in last Saturday's 99-60 rout of Oregon after missing two games with a sprained right ankle.

Cal, which snapped a six-game losing streak last weekend with a 58-49 win over Oregon State, had to deal with another off night by leading scorer DeNesha Stallworth.

Stallworth was held to no points on 0-for-3 shooting. That after she finished with two points on 0-for-2 shooting the last time the teams played.

That previous meeting between the schools came in the Cardinal's first game after snapping then-No. 1 Connecticut's record 90-game winning streak with a 71-59 victory Dec. 30 at Maples. The Bears shot just 35 percent in that one and were outrebounded 49-26.

This time, the Cardinal shot 51.8 percent, held a 40-28 rebounding advantage and forced 16 turnovers while overcoming 15 of their own to win for the 48th time in the last 53 meetings in the Bay Area rivalry. Cal went 1 for 9 from 3-point range in the second half as Stanford increased its pressure on defense.

Stanford honored its seniors after the game with a tribute that included a video on the big screen, recognizing an impressive class trying to become the first in school history to reach four straight Final Fours. Stanford also recognized Cal's seniors before tipoff.

Pedersen and Pohlen are among the seniors trying to make to make it an undefeated run at home for their careers. The Cardinal host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament March 19 and 21.

Cal began the game by making 7 of 10 field goals and knocked down its initial three 3-pointers, two by Federico, on the way to a quick 17-12 lead. Stanford then answered with an 18-5 run and the Cardinal led 38-33 at halftime.

The Cardinal also went unbeaten in regular-season conference play in back-to-back years in 1995-96 and 1996-97.