The calendar says it's only December, but this week's women's college basketball schedule is making it feel a lot like March. And Stanford is right in the thick of things.
The second-ranked Cardinal have a date with the top team in the land, and defending National Champion, UConn on Wednesday, but first they needed a little warm-up. So before No. 2 could face No. 1, it had to tackle No. 3.
Saturday afternoon at Maples Pavilion the Stanford women welcomed in third-ranked Tennessee, and soundly defended their title as the second-best team in the country.
Pat Summit's Lady Vols jumped out to an early 11-4 lead, but that was as good as it got for the visitors. Stanford used a 26-7 run to end the half, and kept a lead throughout the second, on the way to a 67-52 win. It's the lowest point total ever for Tennessee in the rivals' 27-game history. The Cardinal's Kayla Pederson led all scorers with 16 points.
It was Stanford's 35th straight home win, and kept the Cardinal perfect on the season with a 9-0 record.
Now all eyes shift ahead to Wednesday and a potential National Championship game preview as the Cardinal travel east to face No. 1 Connecticut.