Stanford Loses Title Game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The defensive game plan was solid, the execution perfect. Stanford kept Maya Moore, Tina Charles and the entire Connecticut team from scoring for a stretch of 10 minutes, 37 seconds.    

    And it still wasn't enough.

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    Not with the Cardinal scoring a measly 12 points during UConn's drought.   

    Stanford indeed went ahead during the Huskies' scoreless run, but simply didn't get far enough ahead. Everyone knew Connecticut eventually would get going and, sure enough, the breakout scoring binge proved to be too much for the Cardinal, carrying the Huskies to a 53-47 victory -- their 78th straight and a second straight national title.

    It looked good for the Cardinal at the half.  Stanford took an eight-point lead into the locker room with hopes of breaking UConn's streak and taking home the title for themselves.

    Stanford's senior center and All-America Jayne Appel went down with an injury midway through the second half, all but ending Stanford's hopes at the upset over the untouchable Huskies.

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    The other Stanford star, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, was held to 11 points and stifled in the second half by the Huskies' notorious pressure defense.

     The lowest scoring game in NCAA championship game history was played in front of a crowd of 22,936 that included Vice President Joe Biden, who hugged the UConn players after the game, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. While Biden showed impartiality in his cheering, Rice was rooting on Stanford -- the school at which she served as provost for six years.

    She visited with the team at a morning shootaround offering words of encouragement. Rice had hoped to see the Cardinal win their third championship and first since 1992.

     This was the sixth time the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the final AP Top 25 poll met for the title. The last came in 2002 when UConn beat Oklahoma in San Antonio.