Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 18 of her team-high 22 points in the second half but it wasn't nearly enough as the third-ranked Stanford women's basketball team dropped a 68-58 decision to host No. 2 Connecticut in Hartford on Monday night.
The Cardinal (2-1) plays at Xavier (1-2) in Cincinnati on Friday at 10 a.m. (PST). The Musketeers reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last year.
Stanford missed 10 of its first 12 shots and finished shooting just over 37 percent for the game. The Cardinal limited the Huskies to just under 36 percent shooting. There was just no answer for UConn freshman Kaleena Lewis-Mosqueda, who scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the first half.
"Connecticut clearly was more aggressive than we were in my mind, I don't think there's any doubt about that," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "If you want to play at this level, you've got to be very physical and very aggressive, that would be one thing."
The Huskies avenged last year's loss to the Cardinal at Maples Pavilion, which ended UConn's NCAA record 90-game winning streak. The two teams met in the 2010 national championship game and both lost in the Final Four last season.
"Tonight was Connecticut's night," VanDerveer said. "They really were on a mission and I wouldn't take anything away from what they did."
This is the earliest these two powerhouses have met on the schedule and it was a chance for UConn to see where it stood against a top opponent.
"It was like a November heavyweight fight," VanDerveer said. "It was extremely physical and very good for our team to see that and get ready for it."
Ogwumike was limited to 5:33 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, but the Cardinal managed to stay within 32-26 at halftime.
"I have to adjust to the circumstances and so I just played with those fouls," Ogwumike said.
The Cardinal took a 36-34 edge early in the second half but the Huskies went on to open a 13-point at one point.
Chiney Ogwumike was just 3-of-12 from the field and settled for seven points to go with a team-high 12 rebounds. Freshman Jasmine Camp went for 14 points, including a 2-of-3 effort from long range.