BERKELEY, Calif. – Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists, Toni Kokenis scored 23 points, and No. 2 Stanford capped its third straight unbeaten conference season with an 86-61 victory over rival California on Sunday night.
Chiney Ogwumike added 12 points and 12 rebounds as the Cardinal (28-1, 18-0 Pac-12) won their 25th in a row overall and eighth straight against the Golden Bears, who came within 74-71 in an overtime loss at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 28 — Stanford's closest push in a win all season and lone OT game.
The Cardinal, who captured the inaugural Pac-12 regular-season crown and the program's 12th straight conference title, ran their winning streak against conference opponents to 75 since losing 57-54 to Cal in Berkeley on Jan. 18, 2009.
Gennifer Brandon scored 11 points and Eliza Pierre had 10 to lead cold-shooting Cal (22-8, 13-5), which couldn't overcome a 19-point halftime deficit and had a four-game winning streak snapped with just the team's third loss in the last 16 games.
The game drew an attendance of 7,854.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer has called all season for more of her players to get involved on both ends of the floor to take a load off the talented Ogwumike sisters — and the Cardinal's 26th-year coach received several such performances in the regular-season finale.
Kokenis shot 9 for 14 with three 3s and also had six rebounds and four assists. Joslyn Tinkle scored 16 points with two 3s and freshman Bonnie Samuelson hit three first-half 3-pointers on the way to nine points. Stanford went 8 for 20 from long range, with former Stanford stars Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen cheering the Cardinal at Haas Pavilion. Stanford hasn't lost to a conference opponent since Cal pulled off that win here in 2009.
Stanford was too much for Cal defensively. Layshia Clarendon averaged 19.8 points over her previous four games yet attempted only eight shots Sunday after scoring 17 points in the first meeting with Stanford.
The Cardinal haven't lost since a 68-58 defeat at Connecticut on Nov. 21 and are two victories from matching the longest winning streak in program history. Stanford had 27-game winning streaks in back-to-back seasons: 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Bears freshman Brittany Boyd scored a career-best 19 points against Stanford the first time out — and it looked like she was headed for another big day early. Boyd had a steal, four rebounds and four points in the opening four minutes, but wound up 1 for 9 in the first half and 3 of 15 overall for eight points after an 8-for-19 performance the last time out against Stanford.
Nneka Ogwumike swatted a shot by Boyd beyond the Stanford bench with 5:21 left in the first half.
Cal shot 1 for 10 from 3-point range, was even on the boards at 41-41 and converted only 10 of 21 free throws to Stanford's 24 for 27 from the line.
Stanford used a 10-0 run late in the first half and held Cal scoreless for 6:15 during that span on the way to a 43-24 lead at the break. The Cardinal finished 18-0 in conference play for the third straight season.
The Pac-12 tournament begins Wednesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, but Stanford and Cal are the top two seeds and open Thursday. Cal — a likely NCAA tournament team under first-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb — earned the second seed after their fifth 20-win season in six years. The Bears are looking for their first NCAA berth since 2009.
The Cardinal began the game 1 for 8 but quickly got in synch from long range. Samuelson knocked down two 3-pointers and Kokenis another as Stanford went ahead 21-11 at the 11:45 mark of the first half, leading to a Cal timeout.
Stanford, which has reached the last four Final Fours but come home empty since the program's last NCAA title in 1992, has a winning streak of 20 or more games for the fifth straight season. The Cardinal would like to send senior Nneka Ogwumike out with another special March run.
The Cardinal are 11-1 on Cal's home court since 2000-01.