Ogwumike is a savvy senior, so she knows to say the right things about credit going to her teammates for finding her. She also gave the wise and diplomatic answer when asked how different Monday's game (6:30 ET, ESPN2) will be now that the Iowa State crowd has been taken out of the equation.
"No matter who you play against, it's about the 10 people on the court," Ogwumike said. "I think crowds can be a factor, but we're very focused on just playing Stanford basketball. We're fortunate to be in the second round, and we will not take that for granted."
VanDerveer acknowledged her team was disappointed to have been upset in the Pac-12 tournament, but that maybe it was a burn the team needed to feel to be ready for NCAA play.
The nature of Saturday's game against Summit League champion South Dakota was such that a lot of Stanford players saw action. Junior forward Taylor Greenfield got a little more playing time than usual because starter Mikaela Ruef hit her head on the floor in the first half and didn't return. VanDerveer said she expected Ruef would be able to play Monday.
Greenfield is a native Iowan from Huxley, about 10 miles south of Ames. Her parents are Iowa State graduates, and she went to Cyclone sports events growing up. She figured when she went to Stanford, she likely wouldn't play near home again ... but here she is. How many friends and family does she expect Monday?
"I want to say close to 100," said Greenfield, who had six points and four assists Saturday. "I never expected this; it's been a huge treat to be back here, especially with this being the NCAA tournament."
Suffice to say, no matter how big the Greenfield contingent is, it won't be hard to get a good seat Monday. Very different than if Iowa State had advanced; there were 6,759 Saturday for the doubleheader, even though a goodly portion of Cylone Nation is in San Antonio with the men's team. It was notable that Semrau started her postgame press conference complimenting how consistent Iowa State's fan support has been now for more than 15 years.
Semrau knows that first-hand; she actually coached her first NCAA tournament game for Florida State here at Hilton, in 2001 against Tulane. The Seminoles won that game, but fell to the host Cyclones in the second round.
"The fans here are phenomenal. I remember 13 years ago when I was here, and it was just like this," Semrau said. "To be able to say over that period that that continued, it's an incredible tribute to this program."
Back in 2001, the Cyclones were the reigning Big 12 tournament champs, led by stars Megan Taylor and Angie Welle. There are programs that have peaks with good players, and their attendance has a corresponding spike. But that's a difficult thing to maintain, especially when -- as is the case at Iowa State -- you typically aren't in on the top tier of national recruits.
Yet Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly has continued to win, and the Cyclone fans have continued to show their support. Admittedly, by Iowa State standards, this definitely wasn't one of Fennelly's top teams. The Cyclones powered through a not-very-challenging non-conference schedule, then started Big 12 play strong and were 14-0 on Jan. 8. But things started getting more difficult for Iowa State, which ended up 9-9 in the Big 12 and entered the NCAA tournament 20-10.
Semrau said she and Fennelly actually had talked at mid-season, when both were dealing with losing streaks and wanted to compare notes on how to cope.