COLUMBIA, S.C. Chiney Ogwumike has been in plenty of close games for Stanford, so she has confidence that the top-ranked Cardinal knows exactly what to do when pressed to the limit, as it was at South Carolina on Wednesday night.
Ogwumike had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Mikaela Ruef hit a tiebreaking layup with 53 seconds left, and Toni Kokenis hit six foul shots down the stretch as No. 1 Stanford beat the 21st-ranked Gamecocks 53-49 to match the best start in school history at 10-0.
"We had a target on our back tonight and that's one of the things we have to expect," Ogwumike said.
South Carolina (10-1) gave Stanford all it could handle at raucous Colonial Life Arena, where more than 8,000 fans screamed with each possession. The arena erupted when Sancheon White's jumper gave South Carolina its final lead, 44-42. with 2:32 left.
Ogwumike answered with a go-ahead three-point play, and the Gamecocks tied the score on Aleighsa Welch's foul shot. That's when Ruef drove left and put Stanford ahead to stay.
The Gamecocks pulled within 51-49 on Ieasia Walker's three-pointer with three seconds remaining, but Kokenis added two final foul shots to ice things.
"I'm really proud of our team, how Toni and Chiney really stayed with things," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "You're in a very hostile environment, great crowd, great atmosphere."
Stanford had a season-high 18 turnovers, shot 40 percent and was held 25 points below its season average.
No. 2 Connecticut 97, Oakland 25 in Hartford, Conn. Bria Hartley scored 21 points as the Huskies (9-0) beat the Grizzlies (5-6).
No. 1 Duke 88, Cornell 47 in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils (10-0) reeled off 23 straight points during a rout of the Big Red (4-7).
No. 5 Louisville 79, Florida International 55 in Louisville, Ky. The Cardinals (10-1) beat the Panthers (3-5) in the first meeting between Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Richard Pitino, his son and FIU counterpart.
No. 11 Cincinnati 60, Xavier 45 in Cincinnati The Bearcats (11-0) beat the Musketeers (7-3) in an amicable renewal of the crosstown rivalry that was marred by a brawl last year. Cincinnati won its 18th straight game at a downtown arena that is the rivalry's stage for the next two years, an attempt to take the nasty edge off the annual game.
Texas 85, No. 23 North Carolina 67 in Austin, Texas Sheldon McClellan scored 18 points as the Longhorns (7-4) beat the Tar Heels (8-3). Texas coach Rick Barnes would not comment on a Yahoo Sports report that guard Myck Kabongo will be suspended by the NCAA for the season for his relationship with Rich Paul, the agent of LeBron James. Kabongo started 34 games last season.
Saint Mary's 74, Pacific 46 in Moraga Beau Levesque scored 18 points off the bench, making all five of his shots, to lift the Gaels (8-2) over the Tigers (5-6).
UTEP 91, Oregon 84 (3 OT) in El Paso, Texas Julian Washburn (23 points) led the Miners (4-5) over the Ducks (9-2).