STANFORD -- In Pac-12 women's basketball, there's Stanford, and then there's everybody else.
The Cardinal proved that Monday night with a convincing 86-59 victory over a second-place USC team that Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer believes is much better than it showed.
"'SC should be ranked," VanDerveer said. "They've earned it."
Fourth-ranked Stanford (19-1, 8-0) now holds a 1½-game lead over USC in the Pac-12 standings and a two-game lead over No. 21 Cal, which the Cardinal will face twice in four days starting Thursday night at Maples Pavilion. The Golden Bears (14-5, 6-2), who lost to USC (14-7, 7-2) last Friday, need to make up that ground to have a shot at the Pac-12's regular-season title.
Chiney Ogwumike led Stanford with 30 points against USC, 17 of which came on 8-of-11 shooting in the first half. The All-America senior forward also grabbed 12 rebounds for her 15th double-double of the season before a Maples crowd of 3,360.
"I can't wait till she graduates," USC coach Cynthia Cooper said, half-jokingly. "Once she's out of here, I'll be happy."
Also posting a double-double for the Cardinal was senior Mikaela Ruef, who had 11 points to go with 10 rebounds, all off the defensive glass.
"Honestly, I believe she's capable of a double-double every night," VanDerveer said of Ruef. "I tell her that, too."
Ruef was one of four Stanford guards to score in double figures. Junior Amber Orrange -- typically the one dishing the ball to teammates who put up double-digit point totals -- and freshman Lili Thompson had 12 points apiece. Another freshman Karlie Samuelson chipped in 10.
"Last year we relied too much on Chiney," Ruef said. "She still got 30 points today, but it takes the pressure off Chiney when you have so many other people scoring."
The outcome of Monday's game was never really in doubt. The Cardinal took the lead for good when Thompson converted a three-point play with 16:43 remaining in the first half, the first points in a 9-0 run that broke a 7-7 tie.
USC went on a 13-4 run of its own to pull back within three at 23-20, but Stanford responded by reeling off 17 straight unanswered points en route to a 46-28 halftime lead. The Trojans never threatened after that, falling behind by as many as 28 in the second half.
"Stanford played at a pace that we weren't really used to," Cooper said. "We weren't getting the ball to open players, and were constantly behind the 8-ball."