SALT LAKE CITY -- One member of No. 3 Stanford's Big Three was missing, so the other two picked up the slack.
Jeanette Pohlen scored 19 points, Kayla Pedersen added 13 and No. 3 Stanford overcame a poor first half and an injury to Nnemkadi Ogwumike to beat Utah 62-53 on Friday night.
"We had heard earlier today she might not play, so it was not a total shock," Pohlen said. "We responded really well. We all contributed. A lot of people stepped up."
Pohlen and Pedersen combined for 10 points in a 14-5 run late in the second half to break open a three-point game.
Former Stanford player Michelle Harrison scored all 14 of her points in the second half for Utah (2-1). Taryn Wicijowski added 11 points for Utes, also all after halftime.
The victory pulled Stanford's Hall of Fame head coach Tara VanDerveer within five wins of 800 for her career. She is 795-195.
Ogwumike warmed up with the Cardinal but then sat out with an undisclosed medical problem. The reigning Pac-10 player of the year, Ogwumike played all 38 games last year.
Ogwumike had been nursing a tender ankle in the preseason, but Stanford spokesman Aaron Juarez declined to disclose the nature of the "medical issue."
VanDerveer appeared unconcerned.
"She'll be back," she said.
Sarah Boothe started in Ogwumike's place and scored eight points, but VanDerveer said the team struggled to rebound early.
"We are a different team without Nneka," she said.
Chiney Ogwumike added 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds as her older sister watched from the bench.
Harrison graduated from Stanford with a year of eligibility remaining because of a medical redshirt. Her transfer to Utah was a mutual agreement.
"So many emotions," Harrison said. "Weird, fun, nerve-wracking, emotional, exciting. I thought it would be a unique experience and it was that and more."
She started the season making only 1 of 11 3-point attempts, including four first-half misses Friday night. She hit 4 of 7 in the second half.
"It was really exciting to see her do well," VanDerveer said. "It was hard not to cheer for her. We're thrilled to see her playing so well."
Stanford led 23-15 after a sloppy first half.
Utah remained close at halftime despite shooting 19 percent in the first half and missing all 11 of its 3-point attempts.
Wicijowski kept Utah in the game early in the second half, scoring 11 points in her 14 minutes. She made a layup after Pohlen's jumper pulled Utah to 42-39.
"It was very competitive," Harrison said, "which is what I wanted for our team."
Pohlen made a 3-pointer and then added a free throw, and Pedersen scored six straight points as Stanford built a 56-44 lead.
The Cardinal made nine of 10 free throws in the final five minutes, missing all 11 of their 3-point attempts.
Janita Badon had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists for Utah.
Cooke, Boston say Gamecocks' freshmen are impressive
Veterans Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston tell Out of Pocket that South Carolina, ranked No. 1 nationally in the preseason, have talented newcomers.
Mulkey believes LSU's success depends on leadership
LSU's Kim Mulkey joins Out of Pocket and shares her excitement as she enters her first year with the Tigers.
Old Dominion Monarchs to become 14th member of Sun Belt Conference by July 2023
Old Dominion will join the Sun Belt Conference no later than July 1, 2023, the conference announced Wednesday, which will increase its membership to 14 schools.