The first, the last, and UConn was everything in between. C and R are of course talking about the amazing UConn Huskies women's basketball streak of consecutive wins and Stanford’s small part in it. Stanford was the last team to beat them in March 2008, and the first team to beat them since they got the all-time men’s or women’s streak record of 89, stopping them at 90.
This win was so great; let’s savor it minute by minute, shall we?
40 minutes before the game, tons of scalpers on the sidewalks next to parking lots, which themselves are choked with cars. Tickets like the seats R has are going for $125 a pop!
35 minutes before the game, C and R get in Maples early to watch the teams warm-up, but only UConn is out there. Where is Stanford?
15 minutes before the game, a friend walks up to Stanford box office and gets 3 general admission seats at face value. Say what, Stanford? You advertised the game was sold out and many of our friends who did not have tickets (And yes, you who did not heed our warnings know who you are) friends without tickets stayed away and yet they could have gotten in? Why didn’t you advertise, "Limited seats left?" You might have gotten even more fans here. Official attendance is 7329. Why is it when Tennessee women’s basketball has a sellout, it is 14,136?
10 minutes before game, both teams are now out and warming up. UConn is intense in warm ups, and to our untrained eye, Stanford looks half hearted, kinda going through the motions. UConn has purpose and drive on their lay ups to the basket, Stanford, well, not so much.
5 minutes before game, time for the National Anthem. Maya Moore tells a teammate, "The flag is this way."
3 minutes before the game, C and R see former Stanford players Jayne Appel, Candice Wiggins, Ros Gold Onwude and… JJ HONES? Wow, she is the guard who got kicked off the team at the end of last year with one year of eligibility left for drinking and driving… a golf cart (Lord, what a thing to live down) and would be starting this game if not for that. It would be hard to show up back at the farm, yet here she is which says a lot about her character, wanting to support her friends and Stanford. Let’s hope she is not bitter.
Maya Moore gets a healthy round of applause. Geno gets booed. C and R hate when anyone boos players or coaches, we just feel it is bad sportsmanship. Anyone who is out there playing or coaching is dedicated and putting forth a high effort, and let’s face it you have to respect the streak of 90 straight winning games, nearly 2 and a half years worth of not losing.
Game time-tip off, Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike loses the tip, not a good sign.
18:42 minutes left in the first half, Jeanette Pohlen makes a three. (C leans to R and says, look, were winning! Little did she know Stanford would not give up the lead for the entire game!)
18:29 minutes left in the first half, Kayla Pedersen gets a defensive rebound. She would be tough on the boards all night. In fact Stanford would go on win the rebounding battle 43-36.
18:02 minutes left in the first half, UConn makes their first basket, a two pointer
(C: look, were still winning!)
15:59 minutes left in the first half, Jeanette Pohlen makes another of her five threes and Stanford is up 6-2.
14:08 minutes left in the first half, Lindy La Rocque hits the first of her two three-point shots, glad to see running, gunning Lindy shooting. And she has a great, great defensive game. Was on Maya Moore for part of the night, was very determined and focused.
14:00 minutes left in the first half, the Jumbotron shows the Quattro of friends (Jayne, Ros, JJ and Candice), for the first of umpteen million times.
13:31 minutes left in the first half, Jeanette Pohlen post up over a smaller guard and makes a lay up, first practiced two days ago against Xavier, and finds success again.
13:31 and 12:27 minutes left in the first half, Stanford goes up by 13 points!! Thirteen points! The largest lead of the night, but still, 13 points!
Oops, wait we did it again at 4:21, too.
10:36 minutes left in the first half, or thereabouts, National Player of the Year Maya Moore shoots an air ball. The crowd chants the "Air-ball" refrain. Look, not that we are making fun of Maya Moore, it’s just that Maya Moore has the best pull up jumper in the country and has been so outstanding and so consistent during the two and half year streak, we are sure that was very uncharacteristic of her, and hopefully can be attributed to Stanford’s tough defense on her.
3:16 minutes left in the first half, Maya Moore makes her first basket, a three. Her first basket of the night with almost 17 minutes gone by in the game. That’s got to be some kinda record. Stanford’s defense is great. Chiney Ogumike is doing most of the defending of Maya Moore now, except when she and then Nneka get two fouls and both go to the bench in the closing few minutes of the half. Now we do not do so well defending Maya and hence the 3-point shot. Maya Moore hits another one at 1:52, but Stanford holds her to just 6 first points half. Also must be some kinda record.
Stanford fouls with 32 seconds minutes left in the first half and with one second left in the first half. Yes one second, UConn threw a half court pass and Lindy undercut Kelly Faris. She should have let her catch and shoot, odds are she wouldn’t have made it anyway.
0 seconds minutes left in the first half, and Stanford leads 34-30.
Halftime, as C races to the concession stand and gets two hotdogs, R gets stopped by the floor crew letting UConn pass to the locker room. R looks right at Geno and says, "You’re awesome!" He looks right at her and says "Thanks." He then spies one of the half time performers; a monk in a karate suit and lunges low in a karate stance to challenge him two feet in front of R. R is too late to get the photo!
C and R meet with super fan TG and give him his "Fear the Trees" shirt, a prize for knowing who the other coaches were in the 800 career-wins club. C shows her "Hecka Necka" shirt to the cameras but is sure they didn’t show it.
20 minutes left in the second half, C and R just get back to their seats.
17:56 minutes left in the second half and Jeanette scores the first Stanford basket of the second half, what else, a three! Stanford goes back up by seven.
17:11 minutes left in the second half, UConn scores their first points of the second half, also a three. The last time Stanford beat UConn, it’s not that Stanford stopped them, it’s just that Stanford (And Candice Wiggins) outscored them. Let’s hope this game Stanford just stops them, because this year, sometimes Stanford is not good at scoring.
13:22 minutes left in the second half a three by Jeanette Pohlen….lead is nine!
13:21 minutes left in the second half, Jumbotron shows a live action shot of Jayne, Ros, JJ and Candice Wiggins…
10:52 minutes left in the second half, Maya Moore makes her first basket of the second half, (got to be some kinda record), what did she make? What else, a three, she would have no lay ups, a huge defensive statistic. But wait, her three makes it a four-point game. Stanford needs a basket and cannot let UConn back into this game!
10:44 minutes left in the second half, Kayla makes a lay up, thank you very much Ms. Reliable. (Old Faithful?)
9:12 minutes left in the second half, a friend texts R and tells her she thought she saw C and R on TV!
8:05 minutes left in the second half, jumper by Moore.
7:26 minutes left in the second half, three pointer by Moore. Oh no, is this the start of an UConn come back? Little did anyone know, this would be the last points for Maya Moore all night.
7:05 minutes left in the second half, no, no comeback, a lay up for Joslyn Tinkle, who also is having the game of her young life. She played great defense, also asked to guard Moore several times and did a great job. C and R hearTinkle bells in the audience, even though we haven’t promoted it as much this year. Thanks, Stanford fans! R also starts to say, "we’re going to win, I can feel it!" C has a sour pit in her stomach. She can’t handle the stress (You can’t handle the truth!)
6:44 minutes left in the second half, missed three-pointer by Moore. R pounds C’s knee.
Kelly Faris for UConn makes 2 three-pointers at 5:59 and 4:49 to cut the lead to six. Yikes.
3:35 minutes left in the second half, Maya More is being guarded by Tinkle, who gets screened and hands her off to Lindy, who gets screened, hands her off to Kayla who defends her tough and although Moore gets a three point shot off it misses badly.
Tinkle to Lindy to Kayla
Tinker to Evers to Chance
(go ahead and look that one up, especially the sad poem part about breaking opposing fans hearts! C’s head is full of useless trivia like that, just swimming around in her head, waiting to surface at parties to annoy people and mostly beat R at Jeopardy).
2:19 minutes left in the second half, two UConn free throws narrow the lead to six points again, and C is worried, worried, worried. Little did she know this would be the last time UConn would score on the Maples floor that night!
1:42 Chiney would foul Maya Moore and also foul out of the game. Maya misses the front end of a one and one. Again, uncharacteristic of her.
1:37 minutes left in the second half, timeout with Stanford still leading by six and R all smiling and happy and pessimistic C still cannot let herself believe lest she jinx it for Stanford and it is the longest 1:37 minutes of C and R’s life!
1:20 minutes left in the second half, another timeout. Time seems to be agonizingly suspended.
1:14 minutes left in the second half, Nneka would score again to end up with 12 points and have 6 sky-high rebounds.
53 seconds left in the second half, Reliable, Old Faithful Kayla misses the front end of a one and one! And we were just saying about Maya Moore… (To be fair, Kayla got knocked to the floor and possibly hit her head and got her wrist banged so much she grimaced in pain for the final 23 seconds.) Kayla would finish with just 8 points but 11 timely rebounds.
But wait, Tinkle got the rebound and was fouled. They have another chance to pad the six point lead.
51 seconds left in the second half, Tinkle would miss the front end of a one and one… C is about to have a heart attack.
42 seconds left in the second half, 34 seconds left in the second half, 17 seconds left in the second half, Jeanette is fouled, and she would sink all six shots! She would finish the game with a career high 31 points!
4 seconds left in the second half, UConn’s Kelly Faris shoots a three pointer and misses and Jeanette Pohlen grabbes the rebound.
1 second left in the second half, Jeanette Pohlen throws the ball in the air.
0 seconds left in the second half, Stanford wins 71-59, a margin of 12 points! R predicted they would win by 10, so C is taking R to the track next weekend.
2 seconds after the game ended, Candice Wiggins, Stanford great, who is NOT on the team currently stormed the floor and hugged Pohlen, Pohlen still had her game face on and hurriedly pulled away, probably wondering if it was a violation of game rules or something for her to even be on the court and wanted to do nothing, nothing to jeopardize this incredible win. Jeanette wanted this one. She wanted this so badly and has stepped up her play. Kara Lawson on ESPN said Jeanette Pohlen was the best guard on the floor tonight. Maya Moore was held to 14, 10 points below her average, and credit Stanford for being in her face and not letting her have good looks all night. Credit Stanford Head Coach Tara Vanderveer for having the exactly right game plan and Stanford for executing it.
5 minutes after the game, the team came back out, lead by a leaping Nneka.. Tara spoke to the crowd, thanking them for helping to make Maples a good environment to win (and keep their home streak alive at 52) and asked that everyone come back for another game. Then she thanked The UConn team and coach and staff.
R said she feels bad for Geno. Heck, C figures, Geno must feel relieved. He got the streak in the record books, and now the pressure and the daily questions will go away and he can focus on basketball, league play and the March tournament. Hey, same for Stanford.
15 minutes after the game at the post game conference on national TV Tara said, "We didn’t win a national championship." We have a lot of basketball left.
Yes, good to keep it in perspective, Tara, but it sure makes those losses to DePaul and Tennessee easier to swallow, and gives much hope for the future.
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