No Dwight Clay moment was necessary. History wasn’t rewritten by a last-minute jumper like when the Notre Dame guard drained John Wooden and the UCLA Bruins of their 88-game win streak on Jan. 18. 1974.
Rather, it was just too much Stanford size and talent, and mostly too much Jeanette Pohlen. The 6-foot point guard was far and away the best player on the court on Dec. 30, when UConn’s record 90-game winning streak crashed before the Cardinal at Maples Pavilion, 71-59.
Stanford — which bookended the Huskies’ streak beating them on April 6, 2008 in the national semifinals — led from start to finish on Thursday night.
ESPN2 analyst Doris Burke pointed out how UConn lacked patience offensively. Burke also described how coach Tara VanDerveer drew up a defensive game plan that had Stanford frosh Chiney Ogwumike and others push Maya Moore around, leaving the All-American almost entirely on perimeter. Where were the Geno Auriemma designs to get his top player something down low or in the lane? Can’t imagine a Kobe Bryant or a Diana Taurasi going down without kicking it a little harder and trying to get to the line. And why did it take so long for the Huskies to go mush on their full court pressure to attempt to compensate for their size disadvantage?
Anyway, congrats to the Stanford for slaying Goliath and extending its home winning streak to 52 games!
And, above all, kudos to UConn, on its record run!
May they meet again in Indianapolis’ Conseco Fieldhouse in the Final Four come April.