Ogwumike helps No. 6 Stanford women beat Utah
By RICK EYMER
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Joslyn Tinkle, the only senior for No. 6 Stanford, wants to make the most of her final season for the Cardinal.
Chiney Ogwumike had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cardinal past Utah 65-44 on Friday night. Tinkle finished with 16 points.
"Tara brought something up the other day that's just starting to hit me," Tinkle said. "She reminded me I only have eight possible home games left.
"Here we are, getting into the thick of the Pac-12 season, and I want to be more aggressive and rebound better to take the pressure off Chiney."
Tinkle scored the game's first seven points and nine of Stanford's first 12 as the Cardinal (17-2, 6-1 Pac-12) never trailed in winning their third straight and for the sixth time in seven games.
She also made her first 3-point attempt, her eighth consecutive made 3-pointer spanning three games. She later missed a long range attempt.
"I'm just glad Chiney and Jos came to the game tonight," Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said.
"Otherwise it would have been tough. We're trying to get more people involved but we really struggled on the perimeter. It was the Chiney-Jos show and they really got it done."
Michelle Plouffe scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Utes (10-8, 1-6), who lost for the seventh time in eight games since opening the season 9-1.
Paige Crozen added 10 points.
"We just needed something to happen for us," said Plouffe, who has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. "I thought I could start it up for us."
Utah's 6-foot-3 junior forward Taryn Wicijowski, sixth in the conference in scoring, left the game with an apparent right knee injury midway through the first half. She went up for a layup and fell to the ground. It took a few minutes to attend to her.
"It's the same knee she tore that forced her to miss her sophomore year," Utah coach Anthony Levrets said. "She's a great player and critical to everything we do."
Wicijowski, a member of the Canadian senior national team, remained on the bench, her knee lightly wrapped, for the remainder of the game.
Losing Wicijowski made it even more difficult for the Utes to find a way to slow down Ogwumike, who has 14 double-doubles on the season and three straight. She had one point and three rebounds when Wicijowski left the court.
"Jaws wants to be a leader and does so by her actions," Ogwumike said. "Every game we need to have someone step up. This time it was Jaws."
Plouffe did her best to keep the Utes in the game and played the final 12 minutes with four fouls. It still didn't prevent the Cardinal from improving to 16-0 all-time against the Utes.
Stanford, which led 35-19 at halftime, has held its past 37 opponents to under 70 points.
Utah had trouble getting to the Bay Area. The Utes were grounded Thursday night and their flight delayed an hour Friday morning. They finally touched down about five hours before game time.
"We didn't have a normal day," Levrets said.
Updated January 26, 2013