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Top-ranked Connecticut women stunned by No. 6 Stanford 88-86 in OT, winning streak ends at 47

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STANFORD, California — When Breanna Stewart and her teammates returned to their locker room Monday night after watching Stanford students rush the floor in victory, they began to ponder something so foreign many of the Connecticut stars were facing their first collegiate defeat for a program that just doesn't lose.

Then, the Huskies challenged themselves to bounce back and rediscover the championship form expected year after year.

Coach Geno Auriemma is counting on a stunning 88-86 overtime loss at Stanford in November to motivate everybody to be better, on both ends of the floor and at the free-throw line.

"It was a shock. I was frustrated. There's things you wish you could have done better," Stewart said. "It was mixed emotions in the locker room and after the coaches came in we talked about it and just pointed out, 'Things need to change.' We need to know how to react when things aren't going our way."

New-look Stanford made an impressive national statement Monday night, snapping the two-time defending champion and top-ranked Huskies' 47-game winning streak. The Huskies hadn't lost a game in November since falling to North Carolina on Nov. 21, 2004.

"We're missing two things from last year that need to be addressed, and they weren't addressed tonight," Auriemma said. "It was probably good that it was tonight, in November, on the road against a really good team. They know, this is the way it's going to be. They're going to have to make shots and relieve some of the pressure (on Stewart)."

Amber 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 upset in a rematch of last spring's national semifinals.

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.

The Cardinal ended another long Huskies' winning streak nearly four years after snapping the program's NCAA record 90-game unbeaten run on this same floor. UConn went 40-0 last season on the way to its second straight championship. The Huskies lost for the first time since falling to Notre Dame in the 2013 conference tournament.

"What games like today illustrate is how damn hard it is to go undefeated," Auriemma said.

After Orrange's basket in overtime made it 85-84, 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.

Stewart scored 23 points and Saniya Chong had 20 for the Huskies (1-1).

PHOTO: Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart, right, dribbles next to Stanford forward Kaylee Johnson (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart, right, dribbles next to Stanford forward Kaylee Johnson (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

UConn looked out of sorts for much of the night at Maples Pavilion in a rematch of last season's NCAA semifinals — and it didn't help Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis never got going. Mosqueda-Lewis, coming off a 30-point, 10 3-pointer outing in the opener Friday night at UC Davis, struggled all night to find her shot.

She went without a field goal until she made a 3-pointer with 9:40 left in the game, having a tough time getting open looks facing swarming defense by Karlie Samuelson.

"It seemed like there was a lot of disconnect on the court," Stewart said. "It's up and down, our chemistry."

Stanford extended its home winning streak to 28 games at Maples. The Cardinal hung tough on both ends of the floor in the first half and swarmed Mosqueda-Lewis, regularly getting a hand in her face.

"I think people got their money's worth in that game," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.

TIP-INS

UConn had won four straight and seven of eight in the series. The Huskies hold a 10-7 edge overall.

Stanford freshman Kaylee Johnson, playing her second collegiate game, grabbed 13 rebounds to go with eight points. ... 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, close friends with VanDerveer, also attended.

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies head back to the East Coast for their home opener Sunday against Creighton.

Stanford: The Cardinal host Texas on Thursday night in their third straight home game.

FREE-THROW WOES

The teams combined to shoot 40-for-60 from the free throw line — 19 of 28 by UConn.

"It's early," Auriemma said. "Both teams shot terrible from the free-throw line."

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