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Stanford ends UCONN win streak, again
By Alanah Anderson posted 11/17/14

Stanford rush courtPalo Alto, Calif. -- Stanford womens hoops tend to have great timing when it comes to defeating powerhouse Connecticut.  Tonight it was all about timing as Stanford used the clock to their advantage in the 88-86 upset of No. 1 UCONN on the farm.   

UCONN seemed to on the way to capture their 47th straight win after Saniya Chong put the Huskies up 6 with 2:13 remaining.  But it was Stanford holding down on the defensive end while they made their free throws to go on a 5-0 run and cut the lead to 71-70 with 47-second left.

“We knew it was going to be a very tough match-up.  We definitely knew they were the defending champs,” senior forward Bonnie Samuelson said.  “We were confident and we had a great scouting report. We have great players on our team and everyone supports each other so much.”

Samuelson made a huge impact; not only scoring 14 points, 12 over her average, and sinking all 6 of her free throws in clutch situations.  But it was the shot she didn’t take. With seconds ticking down in regulation and Stanford down three she pump faked and found Amber Orrange for a bucket beyond the arc to send the game into overtime and give the cardinal the momentum.

Coach Tara VanDeveer stretched out the clock, putting the Huskies on the line where they shot 68-percent for the game.  That is just when senior guard Amber Orrange put it another gear to close out the game.  She scored the last 7 points for the Cardinal, including nailing a three from the right-wing with 4 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. This seemed to deflate the visiting UCONN.

Stanford press after UCONN upset“I was surprising calm when I took the shot,” Orrange acknowledged.  “I was just glad it went in.”

UCONN redshirt-sophomore Morgan Tuck, who gave the Huskies 14 points off the bench, started strong in the extra period knocking down a three and scoring a layup to go up three.  

Then the Huskies went dry and Stanford went on a 6-0 run.  In the middle of that run, it was Orrange who gave the Cardinal the lead for good hitting a jumper to put them up 85-84.  It was the Cardinal defense that kept them in striking distance during the contest.

Defending National Champion UCONN was lead by it’s dynamic All-American Breanna Stewart.  She finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but she only shot 40-percent from the field and 50-percent from the line.  UCONN as a team only shot 40-percent from the field and just under 68-percent from the line. 

“We did a really good job preparing for Kaleena, we know she is a great shooter,” Samuelson stated about the Huskies other All-American 6-foot wing Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis who shot 3-of-11 from the field.

Stanford conversely shot 49.2-percent (30-for-61) from the field and a staggering 50-percent (7-for-14) from three for the game.  However they also struggled from the foul-line landing under 66-percent.  The Cardinal are running a new offense this year with more guard play, penetration and shooting.  This showed up in the stats with 8 assists and 15 turnovers for the Cardinal.

Sophomore guard Lili Thompson has been filling it up in these new system.  Now with the green light, she attacked the UCONN middle to finish with 24 points on 8-of-13 from the field and 7-of-12 from the line.  Backcourt mate Orrange added 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals for a well rounded game.      

“I thought there guards were the big difference,” Coach Geno Auriemma said. “I thought they totally out played our guards. At both ends of the court.  I thought their guards were more aggressive at getting to the lane and creating offense for themselves.”




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