Stanford rolls past USC for 10th straight win
STANFORD, Calif. – Jeanette Pohlen scored 21 points and dished out a season-high 12 assists and No. 4 Stanford beat Southern California 95-51 on Saturday to win its 10th straight game since a pair of road defeats at DePaul and Tennessee last month.
Freshman Chiney Ogwumike added 14 points and 11 rebounds, big sister Nnemkadi also had 14 points and Kayla Pedersen scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half as Stanford (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10) won its 56th straight home game at Maples Pavilion.
It marks the program's second longest unbeaten run at home in school history behind 59 in a row accomplished from Nov. 25, 1994, through March 14, 1998, when top-seeded Stanford became the only upset victim ever in the NCAA tournament by a 16th seed with a 71-67 loss to Harvard.
USC junior guard Briana Gilbreath scored 17 points to become the 22nd women's player to reach 1,000 career points for the Trojans (12-6, 4-3), who lost their seventh straight to Stanford and 18th of 19 overall in the rivalry.
The Cardinal completed a sweep of their Southern California rivals with their 44th straight win against Pac-10 competition. They routed eighth-ranked UCLA 64-38 in a surprisingly lopsided win Thursday night, giving the team three home wins over top-10 teams by a combined 75 points. That includes a win over two-time defending champion Connecticut on Dec. 30 that snapped the Huskies' record 90-game winning streak.
Stanford shot 52.1 percent and didn't commit a turnover until 6:38 left in the first half when Sarah Boothe grabbed an offensive rebound and was whistled for traveling. The Cardinal led 67-38 at halftime and coach Tara VanDerveer used her bench for much of the game's final 10 minutes.
VanDerveer wants everybody to have played key minutes before the Cardinal make a run at their fourth straight Final Four and first NCAA title since 1992 after two runner-up finishes in the past three seasons.
Pohlen knocked down four of Stanford's 10 3-pointers and Pedersen hit three 3s. Boothe added 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
The Trojans started the game with snappy ball movement to create open looks and crashed the offensive boards to get second chances. But after going ahead 8-7 on 6-foot-5 Kari LaPlante's putback at the 16:26 mark of the first half, Stanford produced a 15-2 run to go ahead 22-10 — and USC coach Michael Cooper quickly called timeout.
The Trojans missed five of six field goals during that stretch. They were 0 for 5 on 3-pointers in the first half and 2 of 16 overall from long range.
Gilbreath hit a pair of free throws with 14:41 left in the game put her over the 1,000-point mark.
USC dropped consecutive games for the first time all season after an 82-71 loss at California on Thursday night.
Stanford freshman guard and key reserve Toni Kokenis, who had five steals Thursday, did not dress after getting fouled in the head in the closing minutes of the UCLA game. She experienced headaches Friday and didn't practice, then was evaluated Saturday. The school said she didn't sustain a concussion but was being held out as a precaution. Kokenis is expected back for games at Oregon and Oregon State next week.