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The Streak Ends at 90: Stanford shocks UConn

Dec 31, 2010 - 8:25 AM Stanford, CA (Sports Network) - UConn's win streak is done at 90, and it was halted by the team that played a role in starting it all.

The ninth-ranked Stanford Cardinal (9-2) held a four-point halftime lead on Thursday, yet they didn't relent in the second half, finishing off a remarkable 71-59 victory over the top-ranked Huskies.

UConn (12-1) tasted defeat for the first time since an 82-73 loss to this Stanford team in the Final Four on April 6, 2008 in Tampa Bay. The streak ends as the longest in Division I basketball history, only two longer than when the UCLA men strung together 88 straight victories in the 1970s.

"There's a sense of disappointment that we didn't play well, but if you look beyond that, there's been other times where we didn't play well -- we just haven't faced anyone as good as Stanford played tonight," said UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.

It was an eerie parallel to that UCLA team, which lost to Notre Dame before beginning its unprecedented run. After the 88 wins, to whom did the Bruins lose? Notre Dame. Nearly 47 years later, the Cardinal turned the same trick.

This wasn't the first time Stanford's had a good chance to end UConn's streak. The Cardinal held a two-point halftime lead in Hartford last season before succumbing to the Huskies, 80-68.

In last season's national championship game, the Cardinal held a 20-12 halftime lead over the Huskies, only to give up 41 second-half points en route to UConn's 53-47 victory.

Jeanette Pohlen had an incredible game for Stanford, posting a career-high 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

UConn's star, reigning Player of the Year Maya Moore, was held to only 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

"This losing stuff's getting old. I hate it," Auriemma added jokingly.

The Huskies never led and struggled from the very beginning, as Stanford built a 17-4 lead behind 10 early points from Pohlen.

The Cardinal maintained their lead until a late run by UConn trimmed the gap to four headed into halftime. The Huskies scored the final eight points of the first half, and Kelly Faris' two free throws in the final second made it 34-30.

Just when it looked like another Huskies second-half surge was in the cards, Stanford continued to fend off UConn.

Pohlen drilled a three-pointer to begin the second-half scoring before the Huskies got to within four a couple times, but never broke through.

Moore's three-pointer cut the gap to 48-44, but Stanford responded with the next six points; Nnemkadi Ogwumike's steal and subsequent layup with 9:49 left put the Cardinal ahead, 55-44.

UConn's last push got it within 61-55 following a Faris three, but Moore missed a pair of threes over the following two possessions, and Ogwumike stretched the lead back to eight with a layup with 2:39 to go.

Pohlen was able to hit six consecutive free throws in the final 42 seconds to ensure the Cardinal's breakthrough win.