Nov. 10, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – In its second game of the season, UConn women’s hoops will face perennial NCAA contender Stanford University in what promises to be an exciting contest on Monday evening at Gampel Pavilion. ESPN2 will televise the matchup, which will showcase the 15th meeting between the two programs. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm.
The UConn vs. Stanford Rivalry
To say these two teams have a history might be an egregious understatement. UConn currently boasts an 8-6 record over its west coast foe and has claimed victories in the last two contests, however each team has also played a major spoiler role in the other’s season. In 2008, Stanford ousted the Huskies in the Final Four, after which Connecticut would rattle off a 90 game win streak. UConn would go on to defeat Stanford in the 2009 national title game to earn its seventh NCAA Championship. Stanford avenged this loss in 2010-11, besting the Huskies by a score of 71-59 to snap the historic win streak, which still remains the longest in all of college basketball. UConn returned the favor in December of last year, as the No. 2 ranked Huskies upset the top-ranked Cardinal on its home court in Palo Alto. The 61-35 decision usurped Stanford’s No. 1 ranking, disrupting both the Cardinal's perfect season record and breaking its 82 home-game unbeaten streak in the process. In short, the UConn/Stanford rivalry always bears with it the echoes of the past and never fails to disappoint. Now, for the first time since 1993, UConn will play host to Stanford in the friendly confines of Gampel Pavilion.
After a dominant 89-34 season-opening victory over Hartford on Saturday, the Huskies appear primed and ready for Monday’s battle of national heavyweights. Leading UConn in the early going has been Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y.), who set a career-high by knocking down two three-pointers against Hartford. Already a dangerous offensive power in the paint, Dolson’s ability to hit shots from distance makes her an even more potent offensive weapon. Each game she has played against Stanford, the senior has shown steady improvement. Her freshman season the center posted 6 points, increasing her 2011 faceoff against the Cardinal to 9 points and culminating in a 19 point effort against Stanford in last season’s upset.
Also hitting her stride early this season has been sophomore standout Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.). The forward posted 14 points against Hartford on Saturday evening and racked up 5 blocks in the victory, hitting 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Classmate Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) impressed fans in the season-opener, setting a career-high and leading the team with 17 points on an 8-for-12 night from the floor while also collecting three steals.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also looked top notch in the Huskies’ season debut, rounding out the double-digit point total in the UConn lineup. The junior picked up where she left off as last season’s NCAA leader in three-point shooting percentage, knocking down both of her three-point attempts en route to a 12 point effort.
From the Cardinal perspective, Stanford anticipates big performances from senior forward Chiney Ogwumike, who joined Stewart and Mosqueda-Lewis as an Associated Press Preseason All-American earlier this month. In an 83-71 opening night victory against Boston College in the first of its east-coast matchups, Ogwumike posted a dominant performance with 30 points and 14 rebounds, only missing one shot from the floor in an 11-for-12 effort and an 8-for-10 evening from the free throw line. Amber Orrange finished second in scoring for Stanford with 19 points. The junior guard also contributed 10 assists in the win.