After reeling off 12 straight wins, including two in the Rocky Mountains last week, the Stanford women’s basketball team returns to Maples Pavilion this weekend to begin a three-game home-stand.
The No. 4 Cardinal (15-1, 6-0 Pac-12) tips the action off tonight against Washington State (9-8, 3-2), and if history is any indication, Stanford should have little trouble sweeping through the weekend.
The Cardinal has never lost to the Cougars, with 52 straight victories over Washington State, including the last eight meetings by an average of 39.1 points.
If Stanford hopes to continue to keep its winning streak alive, it’ll likely continue to lean on the Ogwumike sisters, who have been hammering opponents during the Cardinal’s dominant Pac-12 start.
Senior forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike has unsurprisingly been the driving force behind the Cardinal offense lately, as she’s consistently dominated the glass and led the team in scoring. Ogwumike had a string of five straight double-doubles snapped in Saturday’s game against Colorado when she only pulled down nine rebounds to go with her 15 points. Last week against Oregon and Oregon State, Ogwumike put up 32 and 33 points on the Ducks and Beavers, respectively.
In addition to Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s powerful play, younger sister Chiney Ogwumike has also kept up a prolific pace, as she has reeled off six straight double-doubles of her own. In addition, the Ogwumikes’ production has been complemented by the play of guard Toni Kokenis lately, as the sophomore has had 13, 19 and 19 points in her last three outings.
Washington State won’t be able to challenge Stanford’s sister duo down low and looks to be heavily overmatched, as the Cougars don’t boast a single player who averages double-digit scoring — guards Jazmine Perkins and Ireti Amojo are tied for the team lead with an average of nine points per game.
The Cardinal then welcomes the Washington Huskies (10-5, 2-3) to Maples on Saturday, and the Dawgs could present far bigger problems for Stanford.
The Huskies only average 65.2 points per game, seventh in the Pac-12, well behind the Cardinal’s 80.1 points per game — easily the most in the conference, but Washington does have a dynamic and effective one-two scoring punch.
Six-foot-three senior center Regina Rogers leads the squad with 16.2 points per game, and freshman point guard Jazmine Davis contributes 13.6 points per game, and the two could combine to help neutralize the three-headed monster that the Ogwumikes and Kokenis have been recently.
Additionally, the Huskies play ferocious defense, holding opponents to just a .330 shooting percentage from the floor. That could pose problems for a Stanford team that came out a little too casually against Oregon State at home two weeks ago, shooting just 36.4 percent in a 67-60 victory against the Beavers.
After that sluggish performance, though, the Cardinal has dominated its last two games, and, if history is any indication, it shouldn’t have too many problems continuing its 71-game home win-streak.
The Cardinal and the Cougars tip off at 7 p.m. tonight at Maples Pavilion.