No. 3 Stanford tops Boston College 83-71
Third-ranked Stanford needed a few extra minutes to warm up in its season opener.
Once the Cardinal got in sync, they quickly turned a small deficit into a giant lead with a 28-0 run late in the first half and were never threatened much after that in an 83-71 win over Boston College on Saturday.
''I think it was a `first game' by all means,'' said Chiney Ogwumike, who had 30 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinal. ''When we started running the ball, things found a place. But we have a lot of things to work on. We're a young team. We're just trying to work our chemistry out.''
Amber Orrange guided the Cardinal from the sluggish start and came up just short of Stanford's first triple-double since 2002, finishing with 19 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. She scored nine during the decisive run that took Stanford from trailing 18-13 to a 41-18 lead before halftime.
''After we started pushing in transition, we got a lot of easy buckets and I think it got us going,'' Orrange said. ''I was just trying to be aggressive.''
Bonnie Samuelson scored 15 for the Cardinal, who gave coach Tara VanDerveer her 895th career victory.
Kristen Doherty had 16 points and Shayra Brown scored 10 for the Eagles (0-1). Boston College shot 52 percent in the second half and outscored Stanford by eight points after the break, but Stanford's 44-24 halftime lead was too much to overcome.
''There were some adjustments we made from a coaching standpoint and a playing stand point that I thought were very effective,'' Boston College coach Erik Johnson said. ''Stanford is a very good team and you can't get yourself down 20 and expect to win the game. The reality is had we not got ourselves in that hole, we are good enough to play with anybody.''
Especially when facing Ogwumike, Stanford's 6-foot-4 senior who was a unanimous pick for the AP preseason All-America team.
VanDerveer said the Cardinal know what a force Ogwumike is, but can't rely on her too heavily while trying to bring along the five freshmen on Stanford's roster.
''Obviously, Chiney is a great player and we need what she does, but we need other people to do more,'' VanDerveer said. ''Our returners really kind of led the way and they did a good job.''
Mikaela Ruef pulled down 10 rebounds as Stanford dominated inside and finished with 44 rebounds while holding Boston College to 26.
Stanford travels to face No. 1 Connecticut on Monday.
Midway through the first half, the Cardinal overwhelmed the Eagles with the combination of Ogwumike inside and Orrange from wherever she took a shot. Orrange made 5 of 6 shots, hitting both attempts from 3-point range. Orrange and Ogwumike led the Cardinal with 13 point at intermission.
Brown gave BC an 18-13 lead on a jumper, then Stanford took control.
Orrange hit a jumper to pull the Cardinal within 18-17, then made a 3-pointer to give Stanford a 20-18 lead.
The Cardinal pulled away as the Eagles missed shots and the ensuing rebounds. The Cardinal defense didn't allow a point after Brown's jumper with 11:29 left in the half until Emilee Daley's 3-pointer at 1:08.
Stanford struggled at the foul line, making 11 of 19 foul shots in the first 20 minutes. However, the Eagles only went to the line for a pair of attempts.