Fresno, CA – Nnemkadi Ogwumike poured in 39 points and brought down 10 rebounds as the top-seed Stanford Cardinal pulled away late to drop the fifth-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at the Save Mart Center.
Toni Kokenis scored 12 points and Chiney Ogwumike had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds for Stanford (34-1) which extended it's school record winning streak to 31 games. The Cardinal will square off with second-seeded Duke in the Regional Final on Monday.
La'Keisha Sutton paced South Carolina (25-10) with 18 points while Markeshia Grant added 14 points and Aleighsa Welch brought down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Stanford went into halftime leading 36-30 with momentum after Joslyn Tinkle nailed a three-pointer from the wing as time expired in the opening period. Overall in the first half neither team was particularly strong offensively with Stanford shooting 43.8 percent while South Carolina fell behind at 35.3 percent.
The Gamecocks cut the Cardinal's lead to as little as five several times in the second half with the final occurrence coming with the score 59-54 with 7:02 remaining. Stanford then went on a 14-2 run pushing its lead into double-digits and putting the game out of reach.
Stanford shot 52.8 percent overall in the game and Tinkle's three-pointer would be the only shot the Cardinal would attempt from beyond the arc. South Carolina connected on 36.8 percent and went 4-for-12 from three point range. Stanford blocked nine shots as a team and outscored the Gamecocks 19-6 from the free throw line.