STANFORD, Calif. Tennessee took its first top-10 test of the women’s basketball season Saturday and failed to stop a star player or make enough shots.
But not by much as it turned out.
Stanford scored a 76-70 victory at Maples Pavilion, but not before the Lady Vols whittled a double-figure deficit to two points inside the final minute.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 32 points and had 20 rebounds to lead the No. 6 Cardinal (10-1). Guard Amber Orrange’s driving basket and free throw with 23 seconds left was pivotal in thwarting Tennessee’s comeback, building Stanford’s lead back up to 73-68.
Ariel Massengale scored 17 to lead No. 3 Tennessee (10-1), which now has lost 13 in a row to top-10 teams on the road.
Too much Ogwumike and too many missed shots were Tennessee’s biggest problems from the outset. The combination looked insurmountable as the Cardinal’s lead grew to 12 points with 7:42 left in the first half.
While UT’s field goal shooting percentage hovered below 30 percent, Ogwumike was making 9 of her first 11 attempts — most from point-blank range.
Somehow, Tennessee managed to close the gap. A conventional 3-point play by Bashaara Graves pulled the Lady Vols within five points in the final seconds of the first half.
But Taylor Greenfield’s corner 3-pointer saved a final possession and sent the Cardinal off at halftime leading 37-29.