Chiney Ogwumike had 23 points and 12 rebounds and No. 4 Stanford held off a late charge by 21st-ranked Cal for a 70-64 win Thursday night in the first of two meetings between the rivals over a four-day span.
Karlie Samuelson came off the bench to score 12 of her 14 points in the first half for Stanford (20-1, 9-0 Pac-12), including a baseline 3 to beat the halftime buzzer. The Cardinal led by 30 in the second half before the Golden Bears fought back to make things interesting down the stretch.
Brittany Boyd led Cal (14-6, 6-3) with 25 points and Afure Jemerigbe added 18 just more than a year after the Bears won 67-55 on Stanford’s home floor on Jan. 13, 2013, to split the last season’s series and help them grab a share of the Pac-12 Conference crown with the Cardinal. That also snapped an 81-game home winning streak for Stanford at Maples Pavilion against conference opponents.
The Cardinal ran their winning streak to 19 straight since a Nov. 11 loss at No. 1 Connecticut, and they had won their initial eight conference games by an average of 25 points.
Once Ogwumike got warmed up, she dominated in the paint on both ends of the court. She shot 9 for 19 while facing physical defense. Mikaela Ruef added 12 rebounds and Taylor Greenfield 10 points.
Now, these teams will turn around and play again Sunday afternoon, this time at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
Cal, coming off a season in which it reached the program’s first Final Four, nearly overcame a cold-shooting first half and matched Stanford on the boards at 44. The Bears shot 6 for 16 from 3-point range to Stanford’s 5 of 19.
Cal leading scorer Reshanda Gray, who came in averaging 17.3 points, didn’t score on three field-goal attempts while being limited to 14 minutes. She was whistled for her second foul at the 10:44 mark of the first half and took a seat.
The Bears trailed 59-29 before a 14-0 run to pull to 59-43 on Mercedes Jefflo’s layin with 9:10 to go. But Cal didn’t shoot a free throw until Gennifer Brandon made the first of two attempts with 5:45 left.
Boyd and 6-foot-3 Stanford forward Erica McCall got tangled up beneath the Cal basket with 12:17 remaining and Boyd was called for a personal foul, then the play went to review and stood. Boyd looked visibly frustrated.
Cal hasn’t won back-to-back games at Maples since a four-game winning streak from the 1980-81 to 1985-86 seasons. In fact, the Bears don’t have consecutive wins against Stanford at any venue since a six-game unbeaten run spanning those same years.
Stanford used runs of 10-3 and 9-0 in the first half on the way to a commanding 43-25 lead at the break, then built that to as many as 30 points.
Starting Stanford freshman guard Lili Thompson limped off with 1:53 before halftime after appearing to bang her right knee on another player, but was fine.