Amber Orrange and new-look
Orrange made a go-ahead jumper with 1:38 left in overtime and the tying 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation to send No. 6 Stanford to the 88-86 upset of No. 1 UConn on Monday night and end the Huskies 47-game winning streak.
This marked the second time coach Tara VanDerveer's Stanford teams have ended a UConn-winning streak at home in Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal snapped the Huskies' NCAA record 90-game unbeaten run on this same floor in 2010. Connecticut went 40-0 last season on the way to its second straight championship. The Huskies lost for the first time since falling to
“We didn't just lose to a team that doesn't have any good players,” UConn coach
Orrange led the way this time, and Stanford's students rushed the floor to celebrate right along with her.
The senior guard's basket in overtime made it 85-84, then Stanford's smothering defense took over. The Cardinal forced UConn into several poor shots, a 5-second violation and prevented the Huskies from getting off a final attempt. Orrange also came up big at the end of regulation to force the extra session, hitting her 3-pointer from the wing to tie it.
"I was surprisingly calm when I took the shot," Orrange said. "I really loved how resilient our team was at the beginning of the game."
More often than not, these cross-country rivals push each other in thrilling preseason matchups that do plenty, win or lose, to motivate both sides the rest of the way. Days before this game, Auriemma credited Stanford and Hall of Fame coach VanDerveer for continuing to play Connecticut when many teams no longer see the point.
"I think people got their money's worth in that game," VanDerveer said.
Lili Thompson scored 24 points and Orrange 17 for Stanford (2-0), which has watched both Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike depart to the WNBA as top picks over the last few seasons.
"I think it just shows that we're very determined this year, we're not just willing to be written off," Stanford's Bonnie Samuelson said.