Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer knew she had the team capable of ending Connecticut's incredible run of 90 straight wins. The game was at Maples Pavilion and the coach, herself a member of the 800-win club, had an experienced group that played Geno Auriemma's team tough in the national championship last year.
There were a number of factors which worked in Stanford's favor. The physical defense did a great job against Maya Moore. I consider Moore to be the best women's college player that I have ever seen, yet the defense made her look ordinary on Thursday night. She was not able to get free in the lane and she forced numerous long shots.
Stanford's experience showed with the team's fast start. Even when Connecticut rallied to cut the lead to four at halftime, and the momentum shifted to the Huskies, the Cardinal would not be deterred.
Jennifer Pohlen was the star of stars, hitting trifectas and driving efficiently to the basket.
Connecticut's offense looked out of sync most of the night, and Stanford deserves a lot of credit for that.
The run of 90 straight wins was amazing, but this was not as shocking a result as some may think. Stanford had wins over a number of quality teams this season, including a recent blowout of top-five team Xavier. I tweeted before the game that the potential of the streak ending was legit.
Experience, defense, home court and a hot Pohlen spelled trouble for the Hall of Famer Auriemma and his team. Now Connecticut can go out and start another streak. Here's a salute to Stanford and coach VanDerveer on a job well done!