AMES, Iowa – Chiney Ogwumike scored 23 points to become the Pac-12’s career scoring leader, and Stanford used a couple big runs to pull away from 15th-seeded South Dakota and win 81-62 in the first round of the NCAA women’s tournament Saturday night.
The Cardinal (30-3), seeded No. 2 in the regional they’ll host next weekend, advanced to a Monday game against No. 10 Florida State.
Stanford kept all the Coyotes under wraps except Australian guard Nicole Seekamp, who made 9 of 13 shots and finished with 22 points. The loss by the Summit League’s Coyotes (19-14) dropped No. 15 seeds to 0-82 all-time in first-round games.
South Dakota made 4 of its first 5 shots, forced Stanford into a shot-clock violation and led 13-12 5 1/2 minutes into the game.
Stanford took over from there. Ogwumike hit a go-ahead jumper to start a 19-4 spurt that put the Cardinal up 31-17. A 17-5 run spanning the halves made it 48-27. The Cardinal led by as much as 25.
Bonnie Samuelson scored 18 points and matched her career high with six 3-pointers for the Cardinal. Lili Thompson added 11 points, and Amber Orrange had 10 points and nine assists.
The Cardinal lost forward Mikaela Ruef with 5 minutes left in the first half after she hit the back of her head on the court during a scrum for a loose ball.
Stanford is in the tournament for the 27th straight year and trying to reach the Final Four for the sixth time in seven seasons. South Dakota, which started its transition from Division II to I in 2007, was in the tournament in its second year of eligibility after winning the Summit League tournament.
The Coyotes couldn’t overcome the physical mismatches. Stanford outscored the Coyotes 46-14 in the lane and held a 31-13 advantage in bench scoring.
Polly Harrington, who played in the 2011 tournament for Louisville, scored nine points for the Coyotes before fouling out with 7:36 left. Coyotes fans chanted “Polly, Polly” as she went to the bench.
Ogwumike, the Pac-12 player of the year, passed former Stanford great Candice Wiggins as the conference’s all-time scoring leader. Ogwumike now has 2,652 points.