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Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011
Streak finished at 90
Stanford halts UConn's record run with 71-59 win
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Top-ranked Connecticut's record 90-game winning streak is over.
The Huskies never led and were beaten by No. 9 Stanford 71-59 on Thursday night, ending a remarkable run that drew national attention and acclaim to women's basketball.
Stanford was the last school to beat coach Geno Auriemma's team, in the 2008 NCAA semifinals.
Jeanette Pohlen hit five 3-pointers on the way to a career-high 31 points and the Cardinal (9-2) had the Huskies' number at last — a huge number at that. Stanford won its 52nd straight at Maples Pavilion in a rematch of last season's NCAA title game won 53-47 by two-time defending national champion UConn.
"I thought we let it get away from us," Auriemma said. "I think the atmosphere and what was going on and when Maya (Moore) couldn't get going early. I think it affected the rest of our guys. We just didn't play like ourselves. Give credit to Stanford. I think they played an unbelievably good game."
Last week, the Huskies (12-1) topped the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden's UCLA men's team from 1971-74 by beating No. 22 Florida State 93-62, then won their 90th in a row this week at Pacific.
"When you see what happens tonight and how it happened, I think you can appreciate it even more what it took to get to that point and how many things can go wrong and how you can have bad nights," Auriemma said.
He said such a winning streak requires good players, luck and "that all your best players have to play great every night and we didn't get that tonight."
Huskies star Maya Moore was held to 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting. UConn hadn't lost since an 82-73 defeat to Stanford on April 6, 2008, in the Final Four at Tampa, Fla.
Pohlen sealed it with six free throws in the final 42.5 seconds. She shot 8-for-15 overall and had nine rebounds and six assists. Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 12 points and six rebounds and Kayla Pedersen 11 rebounds for an inspired Stanford squad that held a 43-36 advantage on the boards.
Moore's 3-pointer with 10:50 left cut Stanford's lead to 48-44, then Pedersen answered moments later on the other end. Moore tried to will her team back late, scoring eight straight during one stretch. But she missed the front end of a one-and-one off the rim with 1:42 left that could have made it a four-point game.
Kelly Faris scored 19 points and Bria Hartley 14 for the Huskies, who never found their usual dominant form while playing in front of a raucous sellout crowd of 7,329 for this highly anticipated, nationally televised showdown between the top programs from either coast.
"I'm just happy for our team," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "The streak is something that they did. We're about Stanford and what we want to do."