STANFORD, Calif. — Geno Auriemma insists long winning streaks do little to get him amped up, even after he traveled his Connecticut team across the country to face top-ranked Stanford and its daunting 82-game unbeaten run at Maples Pavilion.
The Huskies sure got a thrill from leaving with an unexpected rout and silencing a typically raucous crowd — and likely stealing away the No. 1 spot in the polls along with it.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and second-ranked UConn played spoiler and streak-buster this time, snapping Stanford’s nation-leading home winning streak with a surprisingly easy 61-35 victory Saturday.
It was the Huskies who saw the end of their NCAA record 90-game winning streak at Maples Pavilion with a 71-59 loss two years ago, almost to the day on Dec. 30.
“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 for us to win a game here in late December, it’s no more than just a big game against a really good team. The other stuff, I didn’t get all that excited about us winning 90, I’m not going to get that excited about us beating somebody who’s won 82 in a row at home.”
Mosqueda-Lewis scored 19 points as UConn (11-0) thoroughly outplayed Stanford (11-1) on both ends of the floor in this highly touted game featuring the country’s top programs and Final Four regulars from opposite coasts.
Stanford got harassed right off the home floor that it ruled with perfection and dominant play for nearly six years — and the Huskies surely took the Cardinal’s No. 1 spot along with it.
The game was the 51st meeting between the top two teams in the poll. The No. 1 seed had won the previous nine matchups and holds a 31-20 lead.
Chiney Ogwumike had 18 points and 13 rebounds but struggled in the post as Stanford lost at home for the first time since March 2007.
“It was a bad day. Whatever we were trying to do, we really struggled with it,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “Connecticut came in here on a mission. Mission accomplished.”
Stefanie Dolson had 10 points and 14 rebounds and flustered Ogwumike all afternoon, and Bria Hartley and Kelly Faris also scored 10 apiece for UConn.
Breanna Stewart scored seven straight points during a decisive 17-2 run in the first half as UConn built a 22-7 lead against the cold-shooting Cardinal and kept the pressure on the rest of the way.
Stanford trailed 31-13 at halftime in one of its worst 20 minutes in recent memory — though the school had no record of when the Cardinal were last held to that few points in a half.
They had gone five full seasons with an unbeaten record on their home floor.
Mosqueda-Lewis, last season’s Big East top freshman averaging 16.4 points and 5.0 rebounds, shot 7 for 13 as Connecticut shot 37.5 percent from the floor — and that was plenty good enough against a Stanford team that wound up at a dismal 19.3 percent (11 for 57) in its lowest single-game shooting performance and fewest field goals made.
“I love the game, I think it’s a great game for both teams, but for our game two years ago it was a national event — I don’t think tonight was a national event,” Auriemma said. “We beat a really good Stanford team on their home court and they happened to have won a lot of games at home.”
Stanford had four early possessions over the opening 4 1/2 minutes in which it faced a dwindling shot clock.
This wasn’t the Cardinal’s worst home loss ever — that was a 96-51 defeat to Long Beach State on March 10, 1983 — though UConn sure made it feel like it for an afternoon to silence a typically animated crowd.
Auriemma was booed by the crowd during pregame introductions, then again when the coach was whistled for a technical foul with his team ahead 19 points with 13:22 remaining.
UConn, which had trailed for only 48 seconds all season coming into the game and now just 2:21 in all, won for the first time at Stanford in four tries.
Ogwumike, Stanford’s leading scorer and rebounder averaging 21.8 points and 12.8 boards, was held to 6-for-22 shooting.
“I don’t think I’ve experienced anything like this,” Ogwumike said. “That Connecticut team we played for 40 minutes is the standard. And the great thing is now we’ve experienced the standard.”
UConn’s 6-foot-5 Dolson made things tough all day for Ogwumike — who stands 6-4 — and gave her problems with a size advantage to deny Stanford’s top player and keep her away from the basket. That led to some forced shots in the first half, when Ogwumike missed 8 of her first 9 attempts. She scored at the 7:25 mark of the first half to end a nearly 6-minute scoring drought since her previous basket on a putback at 13:19.
Stanford then went 4:58 without scoring before Ogwumike’s three-point play 2:27 before halftime.
“Stefanie was going to guard Chiney until she proved that she couldn’t,” Auriemma said.
Dolson was whistled for her third foul with 17:42 left in the game, but Mikaela Ruef missed both free throws.
Walking off the court after this one “was complete opposite,” Dolson said.
“Two years ago we lost and it ended our streak. It was just a horrible loss,” she recalled.
Bonnie Samuelson’s back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second half, the Cardinal’s first from behind the arc, gave them some life. But it was short-lived as the Huskies pulled away.
Stanford’s 82-game home winning streak dated to a 68-61 loss to Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament on March 19, 2007.
This season’s Cardinal stunned defending NCAA champion and then-top-ranked Baylor and Brittney Griner on Nov. 16 to become the nation’s No. 1 team and avenge a loss in last spring’s NCAA semifinals.
The Cardinal hardly looked like the best team Saturday against the dominant Huskies. They were held below 40 points for the first time since a 72-32 loss to Missouri on Jan. 2, 1984.
Stanford missed its initial 10 3-point tries and began the game 3 for 22 to fall behind 22-7, with UConn getting three quick 3s.
Ogwumike’s big sister, Nnemkadi — the 2012 No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick of the Los Angeles Sparks — attended the game, along with other former Stanford players Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Lindy La Rocque.
Stanford senior Joslyn Tinkle, the team’s second-leading scorer, managed only two points while playing on her 22nd birthday.
No. 3 BAYLOR 106,
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 41
WACO, Texas — Jordan Madden scored all 13 of her points in the first half and third-ranked Baylor took control early in a victory over Southeastern Louisiana.
The Lady Bears (10-1) have won 46 consecutive games at home, now the longest active streak in women’s college basketball. Earlier Saturday, No. 2 Connecticut won 61-35 at top-ranked Stanford to end the 82-game home streak by the Cardinal.
Madden made all six of her shots in the first half, with three in a 92-second span that put Baylor ahead 16-2 only 6 minutes into the game. Four players scored in double figures for Baylor, which hasn’t lost at home since the 2009-10 regular season finale against Texas.
Brandi Simmons had 12 points to lead Southeastern Louisiana (7-4).
No. 5 NOTRE DAME 74,
No. 11 PURDUE 47
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Kayla McBride scored 18 points, Natalie Achonwa had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Skylar Diggins shook off early foul trouble to finish with 16 points Saturday to help Notre Dame rout Purdue.
Courtney Moses led the Boilermakers (11-2) with 13 points and Taylor Manuel added 12.
Diggins also had her 300th career steal 5:37 into the second half when she poked the ball away from Courtney Moses and drove in for a layup, which pushed Notre Dame’s lead to 23. The senior guard is the third player in Notre Dame history with at least 300 career steals.
Purdue was one of the country’s best 3-point shooting teams coming into the game, but went 0-for-11 from behind the arc. The Boilermakers were also outrebounded 56-28 as the Irish led by as much as 30 points in the second half.
No. 9 MARYLAND 72,
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and 11 rebounds, helping No. 9 Maryland cruise to a victory over Hartford in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic.
Tianna Hawkins scored 16 points and Alicia DeVaughn added 13 points and 13 rebounds for Maryland (10-2), which has won six straight games. The Terrapins improved to 96-5 in non-conference games at Comcast Center.
Daphne Elliott had nine points for Hartford (9-4) in the first meeting between the schools since December 1997. The Hawks, who had won three of four overall, are 0-2 all-time against Maryland.
Hawkins was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
No. 18 OKLAHOMA 79,
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 57
NORMAN, Okla. — Aaryn Ellenberg scored 24 points, and Portia Durrett had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead Oklahoma to a victory over Cal State Northridge.
Ellenberg was 5 of 9 from 3-point range for the Sooners (10-2), who made 12 of 28 from behind the arc in their last nonconference tuneup before the start of Big 12 play.
Janae Sharpe and Jianni Jackson scored 12 points each for the Matadors (6-5).
Nicole Griffin had 11 points and Sharane Campbell 10 points, six rebounds and six assists for Oklahoma.
The Sooners used all 10 players on the active roster, including OU volleyball players Tara Dunn and Eden Williams, who made their debuts after joining the injury-riddled basketball squad last week. Four players, including preseason All-Big 12 selection Whitney Hand, have been lost to season-ending injuries.
No. 19 SOUTH CAROLINA 66,
WESTERN CAROLINA 44
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Tiffany Mitchell scored 12 points to lead South Carolina to an easy victory over Western Carolina.
Ieasia Walker had nine points for South Carolina (12-2), and her five blocks pushed her over the 200 mark for her career, the 13th Gamecocks player to reach that milestone.
Makensey Campbell and Lindsay Simpson scored nine points apiece for the Catamounts (3-9), who have lost five games in a row.
South Carolina shot 50 percent from the field (28 of 56) and 66.7 percent on 3-pointers (6 of 9). The Gamecocks won the turnover battle with 10 to the Catamounts’ 20.
The only suspect statistic from South Carolina was the 4-of-14 shooting from the line.
The Gamecocks led 29-18 at halftime, but with 13:38 left in the second, the advantage was 47-27.
South Carolina’s only loss came against No. 1 Stanford, 53-49, on Dec. 19.
No. 23 COLORADO 84,
NEW MEXICO 39
BOULDER, Colo. — Lexy Kresl scored 20 points to lead unbeaten Colorado over New Mexico.
Kresl was 5 of 5 from 3-point range, tying a school record for most 3-point attempts without a miss.
Arielle Roberson scored 18 points, and Chucky Jeffery had 11 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. Jen Reese added 10 points.
Colorado (11-0) never trailed. Colorado led 39-21 at halftime and went on a 21-4 run to open the second half.
Colorado shot 50.8 percent from the field for the game, while New Mexico shot 30 percent. New Mexico had 23 turnovers.
Antiesha Brown led New Mexico (8-5) with 10 points, and Jourdan Erskine had seven rebounds.
This was Coach Linda Lappe’s career 100th win and her 50th in three years with Colorado.