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Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike introduces herself to the country | Pac-12 tournament
Ogwumike was voted the tournament's Most Outstanding Player on Sunday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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When it comes to touting women's college basketball's top players, Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike hasn't received a lot of attention on national broadcasts.
But in the Pac-12 tournament, with each game shown nationally for the first time via the Pac-12 Networks (plus the championship game on ESPN2), Ogwumike made a statement.
On Sunday, she was named Most Outstanding Player of the four-day event. She had the tournament's first-ever 20-20 game, scoring 23 points with 21 rebounds, in a quarterfinal win against eighth-seeded Washington State on Friday. She also had a tournament record of 50 rebounds overall.
She struggled in the championship game Sunday with a career-low three points, but she still had 10 rebounds.
"I knew the day was coming when things would be really hard for me, and I really hoped it wouldn't be the Pac-12 championship, but it was," she said. "I think it shows that it's a team sport."
Washington sophomore guard Jazmine Davis was named to the All-Tournament team. She averaged 22.5 points over two games as the fifth-seeded Huskies advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to fourth-seeded Colorado.
UCLA senior forward Alyssia Brewer, Colorado senior guard Chucky Jeffery, Stanford sophomore guard Amber Orrange and UCLA senior forward Markel Walker were also named to the team.
No. 4 Stanford had plenty of motivation to win the Pac-12 tournament in order to earn one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament and the right to play in its hometown for the opening two rounds.
The Cardinal probably accomplished that. No. 14 UCLA and No. 19 Colorado may have also boosted their résumés. Predictions already have the Buffaloes playing their opening two rounds in its hometown of Boulder, Colo., as a five seed.
"I would not want to be someone going to play Colorado in Boulder," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "If they don't like somebody, send them there."
The tournament field will be announced March 18.
Despite the championship-game loss to Stanford, UCLA felt the conference tournament helped its preparation.
"It (the loss) hurts, but we found something in us that we didn't know we had," Walker said. "We played so well as a team."