The part that seems like yesterday is the memory of what a great team this was. With UConn's current win streak, there is so much talk of who is the Greatest Team of All Time and it seems that only undefeated teams are ever considered. But what about the 32-1 1989-1990 Cardinal?
My recollection is that the one loss, 81-78 to the 7th ranked Washington Huskies in Seattle, took place after the team was stranded in a snow storm and spent the night before sleeping in a high school gym. No excuses, but Stanford was thisclose to being undefeated.
What a team, indeed! The starting backcourt was National Player of the Year Jennifer Azzi and future All-American Sonja Henning, with the dependable Stacy Parsons coming off the bench. Julie Zeilstra excelled in the power forward spot while Katy Steding was a potent 3 point threat and superb rebounder and Martha Richards subbing in. Patrolling the paint was Trisha Stevens and PAC-10 Freshman of the Year Val Whiting. Though not major contributors, Molly Goodenbour, Chris MacMurdo and walk on Angela Taylor learned lessons that would bring another championship in 1992. It would be difficult to find another team in WCBB history that could put a team on the floor that would match up with this team position by position.
Consider that the team--
--had seven members who scored over 1000 points in their career
--scored 100 points or more in 10 games
--posted Stanford's first ever win over the Tennessee Lady Vols, 85-71 at Maples Pavilion
--averaged 42.1% from behind the 3 point line (177-420)
--recorded a Stanford record 37 assists vs. Arkansas in the Regional Final on their way to a
114-87 victory that sent them to the Final Four for the first time
--shot the highest one game field goal percentage (67.2% on 39-58) vs. E. Michigan 12/29/98
--still holds ten Stanford season team records
--longest win streak to start a season (20)
--highest winning percentage (.970)
--most points scored (3063)
--highest scoring average (92.8)
--highest scoring average in PAC-10 play (92.4)
--highest scoring margin (26.6)
--highest scoring margin in PAC-10 play (27.5)
--field goals made (1160)
--most assists (758)
--most assists in PAC-10 play (418)
I remember the Regional Final against Arkansas as one of the best games I have ever seen. Maples was packed to the rafters and the Cardinal crushed the Razorbacks and were on their way to, of all places, Knoxville, TN. The band played on and on as the net was cut down and we never wanted to leave.
Virginia loomed in the semi-final with Dawn Staley and the 6'5" Burge twins. Balanced scoring (4 players in double digits) brought home a 75-66 win. A short clip is here.
The next day, despite Jennifer fouling out, the Cardinal brought home a trophy with an 88-81 win over Auburn. Some clips here and here.
This team was so good, it was featured in a PBS Frontline documentary, "In the Game" in 1994.
This was the team that established the standard of excellence that is still evident on The Farm. It is hard to think of where the program might be today had this unique group of women not come together for a very magical season. I know the Super Bowl is Sunday, but please just set that DVR and stick around to honor this wonderful team!