Back home in snowy Connecticut on Saturday, a measuring stick had one connotation. Consult your local meteorologist for the specifics.
Out in California, where the nation's No. 1 team lived for the last six weeks, the only measuring stick No. 2 UConn was interested in was the one evaluating its competitiveness in the heat.
"I wasn't sure how we'd react to this kind of game, on the road, at this point of the season," Geno Auriemma said.
The Huskies didn't score a lot, shooting just 37.5 percent, but didn't need to do too much more. They dominated the Cardinal, in historic fashion, for just about every beat of its 61-35 win at the Maples Pavilion.
Not only was this UConn's first win ever at Maples — after three defeats — it ended Stanford's 82-game home winning streak and probably cost the Cardinal the top ranking in both polls.
Junior Chiney Ogwumike led Stanford (11-1) with 18 points and 13 rebounds, but it was a tough night for the preseason All-American, who was hounded by a variety of committed defenders who held her to 6 for 22 from the field.
"Chris Dailey and Marisa Moseley [UConn assistants] emphasized to us what Chiney can do and what she'd likely try to do," Dolson said. "I had a lot of information going into the game. … I just tried to make her take hard shots, the kind she maybe didn't want to take."
Stanford was just 11 of 57 from the field (19.3 percent). It was the Cardinal's worst shooting percentage in program history, the lowest since UConn held Stanford to 26.5 in the 2010 national championship game in San Antonio.
"This doesn't surprise me at all," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "We are a team that prides itself on defense. We practice it for hours, coach harps on it every day. And when you have a player like Kelly Faris going 110 percent at every moment leading you, I don't think there is any way you can't stop a team."
Stanford's 11 field goals were also a program low. And its 26-point loss was its first of 20 or at home since 1986.
"We discussed the intensity level that you need to have when you play on the road," head coach Geno Auriemma said. "If you play good defense, you have a chance to win. For this 40 minutes, our defensive intensity was really, really good."
"UConn came out on mission," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Mission accomplished."
Come Monday, when UConn (11-0) plays at Oregon (2-9), the Huskies are likely to be the nation's new No. 1.
In a small way, this win helped erase the disappointment UConn's upperclassmen have harbored for two years since the Cardinal, on its home floor, ended the Huskies' 90-game winning streak. Consider that UConn's defensive effort left Stanford in the same heap as Charleston (39-point loss), Wake Forest (34) and Marist (39), all hardly Final Four contenders.
UConn had a 40-17 lead with 15:36 to play before the Cardinal's first sustained offensive rally, built around a technical on Auriemma and two three-pointers by Bonnie Samuelson. Those points keyed a 12-4 run that cut the lead to 44-29.
"By that point, it was pretty hard to come back," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "And we tried to come back with a little run of ourselves."
Stanford, which had been No. 1 since a two-point win over Baylor on Nov. 16, scored the game's first basket 10 seconds in. It marked the first time UConn had trailed since a 31-second span Dec. 6 against Penn State.
"I liked the first shot of the game," VanDerveer said. "Not so much after that."
But that lasted just 1:32 before Mosqueda-Lewis' three gave UConn the lead and started the Cardinal on its swoon.