STANFORD -- Top-ranked Stanford hadn't lost at Maples Pavilion since the Bush administration. And the women hadn't suffered a home defeat of 20-plus points since before the first Bush resided in the White House.

That aura of invincibility came to a numbing halt Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,329 as the Cardinal's nation-best 82-game home win streak was vaporized by second-ranked Connecticut.

The Huskies turned the No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown into a smack down with a 61-35 thrashing that provided some significant markers in Stanford basketball history.

The last Cardinal home defeat came March 19, 2007, a 68-61 loss to Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The last defeat of 20 or more points at Maples was an 81-59 loss to USC in 1986. And the last time Stanford scored fewer than 40 points in a game was in 1984 -- two seasons before coach Tara VanDerveer arrived.

"As coaches we knew we would have tough year ahead," said VanDerveer in reference to the graduation of WNBA No. 1 draft pick Nneka Ogwumike. "This is definitely beyond a wake-up call."

Stanford (11-1) had gained national attention for its 71-69 victory over previously No. 1 Baylor six weeks ago. But Connecticut (11-0) left the Cardinal looking as if it might seriously struggle to reach the Final Four for the sixth consecutive season.


Advertisement

The Huskies outscored Stanford 19-2 over 11½ minutes in the first half to run the Cardinal off its home floor. Stanford, which opens Pac-12 Conference play Friday at No. 23 Colorado, offered little resistance after that.

Sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 19 points and senior center Stephanie Dolson added 10 points and 14 rebounds as UConn earned its first victory at Maples in four tries.

"I don't think I've experienced anything like this," said Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds. "That Connecticut team we played for 40 minutes is the standard. And the great thing is now we've experienced the standard."

The question is whether Stanford can reach such lofty heights in the coming months. VanDerveer is excited to see how her players respond to the shellacking.

"We have to do decide whether we will be a great team," she said.

It will take more than Ogwumike, a 6-foot-3 All-America forward and Nneka Ogwumike's sister. Chiney got almost no support from teammates who collectively made five shots. Ogwumike had a less than spectacular performance, shooting 6 for 22 while fending off double and triple teams.

Stanford couldn't do anything with the ball -- or without it -- in a frightful shooting performance of 19.3 percent and made only 2 of 14 from 3-point range. It was so bad that Toni Kokenis, a 96 percent free-throw shooter, had an air ball from the line.

Starters Amber Orrange and Mikaela Ruef failed to score. Senior Joslyn Tinkle contributed two points. But don't expect any changes to the rotation.

"If we had a better lineup I would have played it," VanDerveer said. "It's not like a little princess is coming on a white horse. We have to play with it, and we have to play better."

Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma tried to choke the Cardinal's main offensive vein by pressuring point guard Orrange and Ogwumike.

Ogwumike missed eight of her first nine shots in part because of the presence of the 6-5 Dolson.

"I was able to read what she was going to do," Dolson said.

The last time UConn visited Maples, two years ago, Stanford ended the Huskies' record-setting 90-game win streak in an electrifying atmosphere.

"The last time we were here it was a big event for them and they treated it like it was a big event, and God bless them," Auriemma said.

But he downplayed the significance of the victory Saturday with so much of the season left.

"We executed defensively and they missed shots," Auriemma said. "Sometimes it is as simple as that."

Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.