LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chiney Ogwumike wouldn’t let her last appearance at USC end without a fight.
She overcame a poor first half and led No. 5 Stanford to its biggest comeback in seven years.
Ogwumike scored 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Bonnie Samuelson added 14 points as Stanford defeated USC 64-59 on Friday night.
Stanford (25-2, 14-1) erased a 19-point deficit in the first half and clinched at least a share of its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title and 23rd overall. The Cardinal also secured the Pac-12 Tournament’s top seed.
Ogwumike scored 12 of her team’s first 17 points of the second half to spark the eighth largest comeback in NCAA history and the largest by Stanford since it rallied from 19 points down against Temple on Nov. 25, 2007.
“I think this game was all about fight,” Ogwumike said. “I said it was ironic because we’re at the home of “Fight On!” and we’re telling each other to ‘Fight on, fight on.’ I’m proud of our mental stability to be able to stay with it even though we’re 20 points down.”
Ogwumike grabbed a steal at midcourt and drove for a basket to tie it 43-43 and then scored the next two baskets on a spin move and an uncontested layup to give Stanford the lead for good. With WNBA coach Michael Cooper scouting in the stands, Ogwumike bounced back from her rough start.
Boyd, No. 18 Cal women endure UCLA 77-72
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brittany Boyd stole the ball with 4 seconds left and made two free throws to seal No. 18 California’s 77-72 win and season sweep of UCLA on Friday night.
Boyd aggravated an ankle injury in the final minutes but played through and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Cal (18-7, 10-4 Pac-12) trailed 72-71 when Afure Jemerigbe made two free throws to give the Golden Bears the lead for good with 1:48 left. She made two more to put Cal up 75-72 with 14.8 seconds left.
Jemerigbe led Cal with 15 points, Reshanda Gray had 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Gennifer Brandon had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Nirra Fields led UCLA (12-14, 6-8) with 30 points in a game with 16 lead changes. Atonye Nyingifa added 22 points and Thea Lemberger 17. Fields. Those three accounted for 69 of the Bruins’ 72 points.