Tara VanDerveer sent her players home for a short holiday break with a scouting-report DVD. Her players sure showed up as if they'd done their homework - and then some.
Bring on unbeaten Connecticut.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 9 Stanford pulled off a surprising rout of fourth-ranked Xavier, 89-52, on Tuesday in Stanford, Calif., for its 51st straight home win.
What a tuneup for Thursday’s showdown with top-ranked UConn, which beat Pacific on Tuesday for its 90th straight victory.
“This was a real important game for our team,” VanDerveer said. “I’m really proud of how everyone prepared. Everyone really knew what we needed them to do and they came out and did it.”
Jeanette Pohlen added 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals and Kayla Pedersen had 14 points for the Cardinal (8-2), which beat the third-seeded Musketeers in the Sacramento Regional last March when Pohlen drove the length of the floor in 4.4 seconds and scored the winning lay-in as time expired for a 55-53 victory.
This game lacked any such drama.
Amber Harris had 18 points and nine rebounds for cold-shooting Xavier (10-2), which lost its second straight game after a 10-0 start.
Special Jennings had 12 points, and Ta’Shia Phillips grabbed 12 rebounds for the overmatched Musketeers, who were coming off a 46-45 defeat at Duke on Dec. 21. They committed 30 turnovers and shot 38 percent in that game, then didn’t look much better in shooting 30 percent against Stanford.
“They won that game in the first four minutes. They came out with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity and we were kind of on our heels,” Jennings said. “We just didn’t show up today.”
Stanford, the last team to beat Connecticut before its current 90-game run, held a 44-41 rebounding advantage against the imposing front line featuring the 6-foot-6 Phillips and 6-5 Harris – who combined for 34 rebounds in the loss to Duke.
Freshman Chiney Ogwumike had 10 points, five rebounds and four steals for Stanford, which committed eight turnovers and forced 17.
At No. 25 Florida State 74, Florida 72: Cierra Bravard’s two free throws with 30 seconds left lifted the Seminoles (10-3) to the victory over the Gators (10-4). Courtney Ward scored 20 points and freshman Natasha Howard added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Seminoles.
Duquesne 71, at No. 13 Ohio State 67: The Dukes (10-2) rallied from eight points down in the final five minutes to upset the Buckeyes (8-3).
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At Wisconsin 68, No. 14 Minnesota 60: Jordan Taylor scored 22 points, and Jon Leuer added 16 to lead the Badgers (11-2) to the upset of the Gophers (11-2) in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Taylor and Leuer hit all seven of their free throws in the final 1:12 to seal the win.
The women’s game between No. 21 DePaul and New Jersey Institute of Technology scheduled for today has been postponed because of snow. The game was rescheduled for Jan. 20. Minnesota reserve big man Maurice Walker will miss the rest of the season with a torn posterior cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus in his knee. Junior Marcus Morris, the leading scorer for third-ranked Kansas, has temporarily lost his starting job after getting kicked out of the Jayhawks’ game against Cal on Dec. 22 for throwing an elbow at the Bears’ Harper Kamp.