SAN DIEGO – The Stanford Cardinal can qualify for a return trip to the Final Four without having to leave California.

Freshman Nnemkadi Ogwumike dominated inside with career highs of 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the No. 2-seeded Cardinal to a 77-49 win over San Diego State.

The next road trip for Stanford, which has won 18 straight games, will be across San Francisco Bay to Berkeley for a regional semifinal matchup against third-seeded Ohio State on Saturday.

The Cardinal (31-4) is forging a new identity without Candice Wiggins, the All-American guard who left after carrying Stanford to last year’s national championship game, a 64-48 loss to Tennessee.

This Cardinal team is deep and big, with Ogwumike and Pac-10 Player of the Year Jayne Appel anchoring one of the country’s best frontcourts.

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