Despite opposition from Monday Night Football, the NBA, the NHL, and the first significant night of men's college hoops, leading off ESPN's flagship show SportsCenter, was the battle between #1 Connecticut and #6 Stanford. The ladies, of course.
Coming into the game riding a 47-game winning streak, the Connecticut Huskies were once again reminding all those that love sports what a true dynasty looks like. The separation at the top of the mountain is comparable by having Connecticut seated atop Mt. Everest, while everyone else is sloping down a mud hill they made in their backyard. On Monday night though, the Cardinal scaled the mountain.
Led by Lili Thompson's 24 points and Amber Orrange's supremely clutch three-point shooting, Stanford shocked the nation. It was Orrange who would bury a corner three in the games waning seconds to knot the game at 77, sending it to overtime. Over the past ten seasons, Connecticut has reached overtime only five times-each has resulted in a loss.
Despite the fact that Breanna Stewart may be the best female collegiate basketball player of her era (which is usually the case for the best player at UConn), she needed considerable help on this night. Stewart would finish with 23 points and 10 rebounds on the road in Palo Alto, but would receive only the sharp shooting of Saniya Chong who finished with 20 points and four made threes, as her aide.
UConn's lack of depth became a factor late, as they would have two players foul out, leaving them with just five girls who had actually had any game action up until that point. The Cardinal would go 7-for-8 from the free throw stripe in overtime to seal the win, 88-86.
Much credit has to be given to Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut program for traveling out to the West Coast in just the second game of the season. The team is so talented that it could have easily rested on its laurels, since it's not as if they have anything to prove, but the Cardinal are certainly glad they came. Ranked sixth in the previous poll, Stanford is sure to see movement towards the top. Things could not be going any smoother in Palo Alto.