The Huskies shut down Ogwumike, the Pac-12's leading scorer, much of the time when it counted, and her teammates weren't able to help. Even though the Cardinal nearly rallied from 12 points down in the final seconds, No. 3 Stanford ended up with an unexpected 87-82 loss Sunday.
Washington bottled up Ogwumike much of the day, packing the paint and playing zone, daring Stanford's outside shooters to beat them. The Cardinal instead went 9 for 41 on 3-pointers.
"We've shot the ball extremely well this season, much better than last year, but today wasn't our day for shooting and it wasn't our day for defense, either," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
The loss snapped a 62-game road conference winning streak for Stanford (22-2, 11-1 Pac-12), as well as a 14-game run against Washington (13-10, 6-6). The Cardinal's last loss in road or neutral conference games was Jan. 18, 2009, against California in Berkeley. Stanford's only other loss this season came at No. 1 Connecticut.
Washington had five players score in double figures, led by freshman guard Kelsey Plum with 23.
"Just overall, I thought we were outplayed," VanDerveer said. "I hope this loss really helps us, I hope it gets our team's attention."
Washington led nearly the entire game and was up 85-73 with less than a minute to go when Stanford started a desperate rally.
Four straight missed free throws for Washington opened the door as Bonnie Samuelson hit a 3-pointer with 39 seconds to go to start the flurry and then another 3-pointer by Samuelson with 9 seconds left cut the lead to 85-81. The Huskies were called for a 5-second violation on the inbound, and with 7.8 seconds Ogwumike made one of two free throws to make it 85-82.
Stanford nearly pulled off another steal on the inbounds pass, but it turned into a tie-up and Washington had the possession arrow. This time, William pulled in a long pass and was fouled for the final free throws.
"It was a little too little, too late," Ogwumike said. "We were really motivated to play toward the end, but the first 38 minutes we were a little lackadaisical on offense."
Mikaela Ruef set career highs with 16 points and 22 rebounds, and Samuelson scored 14 points for Stanford, which last lost to Washington Dec. 22, 2005, in Seattle.
With Washington playing a 2-3 zone on most possessions, Stanford started cold—missing its first seven 3-pointers—and Washington took advantage to build a 14-4 lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes. The Cardinal came back to tie the score at 17 three minutes later, but even after that push the Huskies were able to hold the lead for most of the first half, going into halftime leading 41-34.
Washington kept Ogwumike mostly bottled up while building their halftime lead. The Huskies packed the paint against the Pac-12's leading scorer, and Ogwumike was held to eight points on seven shots before halftime. UW mostly kept the ball out of Ogwumike's hands, as the forward didn't attempt a free throw until 1:35 left in the first half.
"That 2-3 zone automatically tells you what you're going to get as a team, you're going to get perimeter shots," Ogwumike said. "I have so much faith in my teammates. I feel they could have hit shots today and I still think they're great shooters, so even though it's tough to go out with a loss, I still have a lot of confidence in my team."
The Cardinal came out in the second half with a clear directive: get Ogwumike the ball. She scored Stanford's first nine points of the half, outdoing her first-half point total in the opening 3 1/2 minutes.
But despite Ogwumike's quick outburst, the Cardinal couldn't get a consistent offense going, too often settling for a long 3-pointer which mostly didn't go in.
Meanwhile, Washington's offense was rolling. A 16-2 run gave the Huskies a 64-48 lead with 9 1/2 left to play, and the Cardinal didn't find an answer until it was too late.
"I think we will learn a lot from this game, and hopefully play more confidently for 40 minutes and not just try to make a run with a minute left," Ruef said. "I think we need to be confident. We are a great shooting team, and we need to show that confidence in our shots in the first half and throughout the entire game, and not just wait until our backs are against the wall and start firing because we have to."