Chiney Ogwumike delivered a career-best performance for the Stanford women's basketball team, and the No. 4 Cardinal needed every bit of it to escape 74-71 in overtime against Cal on Saturday at Maples Pavilion.
With the Bears trying to shut down her older sister Nneka, Chiney Ogwumike had career highs of 27 points and 18 rebounds. The sophomore also sank a free throw with 1:05 left in overtime that gave the Cardinal the lead for good.
"Once they doubled me, that left one other person open, and clearly Chiney can take care of business," Nneka Ogwumike said. "That's how we work. ... This is something we're going to see in the (NCAA) tournament. Teams can pick their poison."
Guard Layshia Clarendon, who scored the Bears' final five points of regulation to force the extra period, tied the score at 71 with 1:27 left in overtime on a jump shot. Those were Cal's only overtime points.
Stanford guard Toni Kokenis (18 points) added two free throws with 23 seconds left in overtime. Those stood up as the final points of the game when Cal missed two 3-pointers on its final possession.
For Cal, just getting to overtime was nearly a victory in itself. The Bears (15-6, 6-3 Pac-12) trailed by as many as 14 points with just over 8 minutes left in regulation before storming back.
Clarendon had the biggest impact with 11 of her 17 points coming in the final eight minutes of the second half.
"I told our players when we walked in our locker room that I've never been more happy to be their coach and the only thing that could have made me happier is if they were jumping up and down celebrating with a win," Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "I asked them to come in here with an extra special effort -- that's what you need when you're playing the No. 4 team in the country -- and they gave that extra effort today. Obviously we came up one possession short."
The loss was the Bears' fourth to a top-25 team by three points or fewer. Afterward, Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said she thought the Bears should be ranked and was pleased with her own team's effort, with the exception of some outside shooting woes, despite the narrow margin of victory.
"Coaches and players will always benefit from this type of environment and intensity," VanDerveer said. "This was a tournament environment. ... I definitely think (Cal) is a top-25 team. They took us right to the brink."
While Chiney Ogwumike led Stanford (18-1, 9-0) in rebounding and points against Cal, it was also a milestone day for Nneka Ogwumike. With 12 points, the senior pushed her career total to 2,084 and became Stanford's No. 4 all-time scorer, passing Val Whiting.
Several lengthy Cardinal win streaks were in jeopardy in the first overtime game at Maples since a win over Tennessee on Dec. 22, 2007. Stanford was able to extend its home winning streak to 74 games and its conference streak to 66.
Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd had a career-high 19 points to lead Cal, with 14 of them coming in the first half. She also had seven rebounds, four assists and three steals but was more concerned with her seven turnovers.
"She's always asking afterwards how many turnovers she had," Gottlieb said of the Berkeley High graduate. "I don't think people realize how high a standard she sets for herself."