Published January 13, 2015
Chiney Ogwumike scored 20 points and No. 4 Stanford pulled away late to notch a 70-56 victory over Utah in a Pac-12 matchup from the Huntsman Center.
Sara James added 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Amber Orrange made 6-of-9 field goal attempts in a 16-point effort as the Cardinal (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12) tuned up for Tuesday's showdown at No. 7 California.
Iwalani Rodrigues netted a game-high 21 points for Utah (9-4, 0-2), which was dealt its third consecutive loss and second straight to a nationally ranked conference foe. The Utes were handed a 55-50 setback by Cal on Friday.
Stanford stayed in front all the way after James' 3-pointer with 12:38 left in the first half snapped a 9-9 tie, but had to ward off several challenges from the Utes before breaking things open down the stretch.
Utah trailed just 20-19 following Rodrigues' triple with just over four minutes remaining in the opening period and faced a 29-24 deficit at halftime, with Rodrigues' fastbreak layup with 1:04 to go enabling the Utes to close the gap.
A 10-2 Stanford run capped by Joslyn Tinkle's steal and layup with 11:41 left put the Cardinal up by a 47-37 count, but back-to-back baskets by Rodrigues cut the margin down to six a minute later.
It remained a 6-point differential entering the final five minutes, with Michelle Plouffe's trey pulling Utah within 56-50. Ogwumike scored on the other end, however, to ignite a 6-0 spurt that gave the Cardinal back a double-digit advantage, and the Utes never got closer than nine points down over the remainder of the contest.