Amber Orrange was struggling with her shooting early on but all it took was a little bit of urgency and 26 seconds of pure energy to get her going again in a big way.
Orrange scored seven of her 17 points in the final 26 seconds of regulation, including a 3-pointer that tied the game with 1.4 seconds remaining to force overtime as the sixth-ranked Stanford women's basketball team recovered from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat visiting top-ranked and defending national champion Connecticut, 88-86, in a dramatic nonconference contest Monday night.
Orrange scored 13 points after halftime to beat the Huskies for the seventh time in 17 meetings, including four of five in Maples Pavilion.
"People got their money's worth with that game," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We had a great crowd, played a great game against a great opponent. We had some great individual efforts and overall we were very energetic and enthusiastic. The shot of the game was Amber's 3. It was awesome. We had a lot of great plays leading up to it."
Orrange missed eight of her first 12 shots, but made the last four she took. Her tying 3-pointer came on a play designed for Bonnie Samuelson, a major figure in the victory with a 6-of-6 effort from the foul line.
"We ran a play for Bonnie," Orrange said. "But when the defense all ran to her, she passed it to me and I was surprisingly calm when I took the shot."
The Huskies took the early lead in overtime too, but Orrange's jumper with 1:39 left to play put the Cardinal (2-0) in front to stay. Samuelson hit a pair of free throws and her sister Karlie was 1 of 2 from the foul line to help Stanford maintain the lead.
"It shows that we're very determined this year," said Bonnie Samuelson, who ended with 14 points and one huge blocked shot. "We're not willing to be written off."
The Huskies missed their first two shots of the second half, but then made their next six straight, including three 3-pointers, to go up 56-49. They eventually held a 65-55 advantage with 6:32 left in regulation.
Karlie Samuelson hit a 3-pointer that put Stanford up 45-41 early in the second half.
Connecticut led by eight at 33-25 with 4:22 left in the first half. Samuelson hit a lay-up three minutes later that tied the contest at 38. A pair of free throws gave the Huskies a 40-38 lead at halftime.
"The idea is the same," Stanford sophomore guard Lili Thompson said. "We're going to work as hard as we can every day and we'll be relentless on the court."
Thompson finished with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting. She was 2 of 7 from the foul line at one point and then made her last five attempts, two in the final 47 seconds of regulation and two more in the overtime period.
"My confidence came from my teammates," Thompson said. "Whenever I missed a free throw or turned the ball over, all I got was encouragement."
Stanford, which ended Connecticut's NCAA-record 90-game winning streak in 2010, put and end to the Huskies' 47-game winning streak, the third longest in the school's history.
Connecticut had won its last 56 games played in November dating to 2004 and played in a game decided by fewer than four points for the first time since the 2012-13 season. They are 0-3 over that span.
"Because of who we are, it's always Connecticut loses instead of Stanford played good and won," Huskies' coach Geno Auriemma said. "That's unfortunate and a disservice to Stanford. We lost to a really good team."
Stanford freshman Kaylee Johnson added a game-high 13 rebounds to go with eight points before fouling out.
"It was a shock," Huskies' center Breanna Stewart said. "A lot of new guys had never been in that situation before. Some had never lost a game before. I was frustrated. There were things I could have done better. Things need to change. We're not going to be super successful if we don't change."
UConn (1-1) looked out of sorts for much of the night in a rematch of last season's NCAA semifinals. It didn't help that the Huskies Kaleena Mosquenda-Lewis never got going.
She was coming off a 30-point game that featured 10 three-pointers on Friday at UC Davis. Against Stanford, she went without a field goal until she made a 3-pointer with 9:40 left in the game as Karlie Samuelson's tight defense made a huge difference.
"Karlie did a great," said Bonnie Samuelson. "She worked her butt off preparing for Kaleena."
Stanford, which has now won 28 straight at home, will put that streak on the line Thursday against visiting Texas at 6 p.m.