Coach Geno Auriemma always preached that championships are what his Connecticut Huskies chase, not streaks.
With UConn's NCAA-record 90-game run over, Auriemma can get back to his primary goal -- winning a third straight national title.
"It's where we go from here that will define this team more than the 90 wins," Auriemma said. "How we play going forward will be this team's defining moment. The 90 wins just belonged to a few of these guys. What happens for the rest of the season will belong to them. And I am excited about that."
Star Maya Moore, who has been the constant for UConn throughout the streak, looked ordinary for one of the few times in her career. The school's all-time scoring leader was held to just 14 points in Thursday night's 71-59 loss. She settled for shooting three-pointers -- taking 11 of them -- even when Auriemma pleaded with her to take it to the basket.
"I'm really proud of our team for stepping up and not being intimidated by the streak or whatever and just going out and playing the game," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
With her team trailing by six late in the game, Moore got to the free throw line for the first time and missed her only attempt. The normally poised senior was upset after on the third loss of her career.
The previous time came 998 days ago in the NCAA semifinals, against Stanford.
After a cross-country flight home, the Huskies will have six days to prepare for their next opponent -- Villanova. The Wildcats will attempt to end two more UConn streaks on Jan. 5. The Huskies haven't lost at home in 69 straight games and not lost consecutive games in nearly 17 years.
The numbers during the unprecedented run were staggering. The Huskies won by nearly 34 points a game while allowing two teams to come within single digits. They beat ranked opponents 31 times and trailed for just 134 minutes during the 90 wins.
This month, the Huskies (12-1) passed the John Wooden-era UCLA men's team that won 88 in a row from 1971 to 1974, including back-to-back title seasons.
As VanDerveer pointed out, Stanford lost only eight times during UConn's 90-0 streak, and three of them were to UConn. UConn is 87-0 vs. all other teams. And 3-2 vs. Stanford.
"It's not a national championship," VanDerveer said. "But it's a really big game and we're excited about it."