Stanford women’s basketball has a unique place in the sport. The Stanford women’s basketball team is the only one to really put up a fight against UConn in the last few years. In 2008, the Cardinal defeated the Huskies in the Final Four, before UConn’s 90-game winning streak began. In 2009, the Cardinal came the closest to beating them in the regular season, and then nearly prevented them from winning the national championship. But in 2010, Stanford’s team took the next step, breaking the sport’s longest winning streak – over two years after they started it.
Over a week after UConn broke the UCLA men’s 88-game streak, they faced the last team they had ever lost to. In their last three meetings with the Cardinal, the Huskies had more difficulty with them than they had with any other program.
Therefore, when the Stanford women’s squad jumped to a big early lead, it wasn’t as shocking as it would be from any other team. For some reason, this program is UConn’s kryptonite, even as every other one goes down without a fight.
For only the third time during the streak – and the third time to the Cardinal – the Huskies were down at the half. But in the previous two games, UConn had woken up to stay unbeaten. In this case, although the Huskies made a run, they never got the lead.
Once more, Stanford women’s basketball was celebrated as a giant killer with their 71-59 win. They never trailed, even though the vast majority of the Huskies’ last 90 opponents never led. To those who condemned the Huskies for blowing out everyone, the Cardinal offered some relief.
Yet they seem to be the only team in the sport that can stand up to UConn, which became even clearer last night. With the exception of Baylor last month, every single other team in the women’s game has fallen to UConn without a fight.
Just two weeks ago, Stanford was in turmoil, having lost to DePaul and Tennessee. Since they faced fourth-ranked Xavier and top-ranked UConn this week, it could have dealt the eighth-ranked Cardinal another blow. Instead, they blew out Xavier by 37 points, and raised even more eyebrows last night.
Thanks to Stanford, women’s basketball now has to go on without the streak. Since the Huskies can’t play the Cardinal again until the NCAA tournament, they are expected to have no more trouble until April, at the earliest. Their Big East conference schedule now lies ahead, starting Jan. 5 against Villanova.
SI.com- “Stanford puts indelible stamp on women’s game with UConn shocker”