In the Card’s final game of the season in Maples Pavilion, the team surged past a quick-starting St. John’s Red Storm to cruise to the 75-49 victory and a berth in the Sweet Sixteen. Despite the wide margin of defeat, St. John’s held the lead for a significant chunk of the game, and played from ahead for more than half of the first period. After going up 2-0 on a Jeanette Pohlen score, Stanford did not reclaim the lead until just over 5 minutes remained before halftime.
Credit for the Card’s comeback has to fall primarily on the shoulders of the Ogwumike sisters, who combined for 35 points and nearly as many rebounds as St. John’s pulled down as a team. Nneka Ogwumike led all scorers with 22 points, while sister Chiney scored 13 points and collected 12 boards. Each Ogwumike added a block to Stanford’s cause and shot an identical 63% from the field.
In the last Maples game of her career, senior forward Kayla Pedersen also was key in the win. The 4-time All-PAC-10 player recorded 14 points, 8 rebounds, and a game-high 5 assists. Pohlen, who struggled to find her stroke throughout the night, finished with 8 points on 3-13 shooting with 4 assists.
Stanford once again thrived on judicious shot selection and great shooting while limiting their opponent to a poor shooting performance. Stanford shot 53% from the floor and 38% from three; St. John’s shot 37% and 14%, respectively. St. John’s shooting woes kicked in after the break, following a first half in which the visitors scored enough to stay competitive with Stanford on the Card’s home floor: St. John’s trailed by just 8 after 20 minutes of play. Stanford also outclassed its rival once again on the glass, easily outrebounding St. John’s, 39-21.
Stanford freshman guard Toni Kokenis suffered an ankle injury in the first half, and returned to the bench but not to the floor roughly halfway through the second period. There has not yet been official word from the team on the exact nature or expected duration of her injury.
Red Storm senior forward Centhya Hart led St. John’s with 15 points, while Da’Shena Stevens (11 points) and Nadirah McKenith (10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) rounded out the top scorers for the 9th seed in the Spokane region.
Stanford’s senior class finishes its collegiate career with an unblemished 63-0 mark in games played at Maples Pavilion. It is the only class in school history never to lose at home.
The Card will not play again until Saturday, when they will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.