By: Joe Lami
The Stanford Cardinal went into Monday night’s match with a record of 1-0 after the season opener win over Boston College. However, they will not move to 2-0, after a loss to the Huskies by the final score of 76-57. Stanford went into Storrs looking to knockoff UConn and get their revenge from last season’s embarrassing loss to the Huskies at home. Stanford also wanted to upset the preseason number one for the second straight year, after last season’s victory over Baylor by two points in Hawaii, but UConn prevented that from coming to reality.
Both teams started the game especially cold, as the first bucket wasn’t knocked down until a minute eighteen into the game by Husky star, Bria Hartley. Stanford would then answer back just ten seconds later with their first bucket of the night from freshman Kailee Johnson. This was the last bucket for over five minutes, as both teams struggled from the field, as the next bucket wouldn’t be made until Chiney Ogumike hit her first of the night at the 13:13 mark. UConn would retake the lead after Saniya Chong came off the bench to knock down a three, but that was short lived as Ogumike would retake the lead for the Cardinal, 6-5 with 12:39 remaining in the first half. Almost another minute would go by until the next basket was made, this time a three again by Husky guard Chong. The Husky lead was 8-6 with just under 12 minutes to go in the half. The lead wouldn’t be changed again, as Connecticut didn’t look back on their way to victory.
For Stanford, Amber Orrange led the way with 22 points, Ogumike followed with 16. It was another strong showing for the pre-season All-American Ogumike, as she recorded another double-double with 13 rebounds, ten of those coming in the first half.
Connecticut spread the ball around really well with 3 players scoring more than ten points, and another three recording nine points.
The difference makers in Monday night’s contest came in a couple of different ways, all of them, favoring the Huskies. The biggest came in the way of bench points as the UConn bench out scored the Stanford bench 27-12. Connecticut also had only ten turnovers compared to the Cardinal 16. UConn out scored Stanford at the foul line 19-12 and hit four more three-pointers than the girls from Palo Alto. The Huskies were also really strong inside the paint as they blocked a total of eight shots, six of them coming from Kiah Stokes, who came off of the bench and added ten points as well.
There was however, a big scare for the Huskies as one of their star players in Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit the ground hard fighting for a rebound landing awkwardly on her right arm. Gampel Pavilion went silent, with the shrieks of Mosqueda-Lewis. She was eventually able to get out and walk off of the floor, but she was favoring her right elbow. The Huskies didn’t let what looked like a serious injury get to their heads, as they were able to get right back to the game.
The schedule won’t get any easier for the Huskies, as they travel to Maryland to take on the number eight ranked Terrapins.
For the Cardinal, they suffer their first loss since they were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in March and their first regular season loss since January 13, as the Cal Bears knocked them off at Maples 67-55. The record moves to 1-1 on the season, as they return home to Maples this Friday where they host the Cal Poly Mustangs.