Big ballin’ weekend

In the Pac-10, the Ogwumike sisters are already a force for Stanford. Freshman Chiney had 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Nnemkadi put up 17 in the Cardinal’s defeat of Fresno State today.

UCLA beat St. Mary’s, 75-59. Rebekah Gardner lead the Bruins with 16 points. I’m wondering if she’s mad competitive, because she’s done much better than ever since her sister joined the team this fall.

Earlier today, the LA Times shocked us all by having a story on Coach Nikki Caldwell. Any coverage of women’s hoops by that publication is appreciated, but the reporter makes some good points:

Caldwell is more than a coach, she’s a personality, owning the cameras while stalking the sidelines with a swagger not been seen in women’s college hoops around here since Cheryl Miller.

“She has this kind of roar demeanor,” says senior guard Doreena Campbell. “It’s like, you know she’s there.”

Imported here three years ago from that women’s college basketball temple known as Tennessee, Caldwell has taken a moribund operation and goaded it into a top 10 national ranking with a 7-0 record entering Sunday afternoon’s game at St. Mary’s.

Yep, personality.

Elsewhere, fifth-ranked Duke handed Oklahoma State its first loss of the season.

Tennessee senior Angie Bjorklund guided the Vols past Texas with 20 points, which included four first half three-pointers. Freshman Meighan Simmons was just behind Bjork with 18.

Candace Parker and daughter were on hand for the 92-77 win, and Parker interviewed beforehand.

The Vols need to stay at it, as they face Baylor and Brittney Griner on Tuesday.

In SoCal basketball news, Brea Olinda prevailed last night in the Iolani Classic in Hawaii, beating Memphis Central 74-58. It was a tight game for the first quarter and a half, and then the Ladycats started to pull away. Forward Justine Hartman sat out to rest her knee, but her teammates stepped up in her place; Keitra Wallace had 21 points and point guard Ana Kim dropped 20.

Edison clobbered Woodbridge 63-36 in the South Coast Holiday Classic in Orange County.

At the “Battle of the Beach” tournament at Redondo Union High School, Santa Monica outlasted Bishop Montgomery 62-54 for the championship.

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