Stanford has protected its home floor at Maples Pavilion with such pride and domination for decades that the Cardinal suddenly face a surprising task: avoiding a three-game losing streak.
Coach Tara VanDerveer's patience is being tested, and she tries to remain positive through the struggles of her inexperienced team. VanDerveer certainly expected some bumps after losing WNBA No. 1 overall draft pick Nnemkadi Ogwumike following a fifth straight Final Four.
No. 6 Stanford hosts 14th-ranked UCLA on Friday night looking to end a two-game skid at home — something most programs would hardly be fretting too much about, but this program isn't like most. The Cardinal had their 82-game home winning streak snapped in a lopsided 61-35 rout by Connecticut on Dec. 29, then fell to rival California last weekend.