AUSTIN, Texas — Even with half the Ogwumike frontcourt on the bench, No. 5 Stanford was still too strong and powerful for No. 24 Texas to handle.
Chiney Ogwumike shrugged off early foul trouble with 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cardinal to a 72-59 win on Friday, dominating the Longhorns with her rebounding on the offensive end in a season-opening clash of two powerhouse women's programs.
Chiney's older sister, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, a preseason All-American forward, was held out of the game with an unspecified upper body injury, leaving Chiney to carry the load on the same court where the Houston-area natives won a pair of state Texas state high school championships.
Nnemkadi was on the bench to cheer for her team but was not in uniform. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, would not detail the injury but said her star player could return to the court in time for Stanford's next game on Sunday at home against Gonzaga.
"I think it would have been nice to play with her on this court ... We have a great history here," Chiney Ogwumike said. "It was a great mental check for me. Our motto is do whatever it takes."
Chiney Ogwumike had 10 offensive rebounds, many of them leading to easy putbacks, as Stanford built a 10-point lead early in the second half.
Texas, which got 17 points from guard Chassidy Fussell, had several small rallies but never really threatened to overtake the Cardinal, who have won 11 consescutive season openers. The Longhorns dropped just their fourth home- opening loss in program history.
"I think this was an excellent test for our team," VanDerveer said. "They gave us a great battle."
The Cardinal also got 14 points from freshman guard Amber Orrange, another Houston native, and Joslyn Tinkle scored 14. Orrange had a team-high five turnovers but also had three assists and was Stanford's offensive spark in the first half when Chiney Ogwumike was on the bench with two early fouls.
"We saw some real poise from Amber," VanDerveer said.
Texas had just eight players available. Brady Sanders, Chelsea Bass and Tiffany Moore were held out because of various medical and injury problems and Ronisha Major was announced as out indefinitely for unspecified conduct unbecoming of a Texas student athlete.
Chiney Ogwumike picked up her first foul in in the first minute and spent much of the first half of the bench.
That opened up the floor for Texas center Cokie Reed, who bulled her way to eight points and five rebounds in the first half. Reed missed last season due to surgery on her right foot, but was nimble and agile in the post when she got the ball and kept the Longhorns close.
The Longhorns couldn't contain Orrange, who slashed her way to the basket and 12 points that carried Stanford to a 35-30 lead at halftime.
"We didn't do a good job on Amber in the first half, letting her get to her left hand" for layups, Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said.
Stanford quickly pushed its lead to 10 early in the second half behind Chiney Ogwumike's 3-point play on a nifty spin over Reed and a drop-in runner by Taylor Greenfield.
"(Ogwumike) just sat on the weak side and dominated the boards for layups," Goestenkors said.
Texas trimmed the lead to 53-48 before Toni Kokekis made her second 3-pointer of the second half, Chiney Ogwumike had a putback and Orrange finished a block and steal from Cassie Peoples to coast in for an easy layup that put Stanford up 61-50 with just under 8 minutes to play. The Cardinal nursed that lead the rest of the way.
Stanford held Reed in check in the second half, allowing her just three points as the Cardinal defense collapsed on her with double teams in the post. Even when Reed could pass the ball back out, Texas shot just 1 of 11 on 3-pointers.
The Longhorns also got no offensive production from 6-foot-4 senior center Ashley Gayle, who had eight rebounds and four blocks but no points.