Stewart Faces 1st Real Test vs. Stanford

breanna stewart
NBC Connecticut

The Huskies are the No. 2 team in the country, have yet to lose a game this season, and their smallest margin of victory has been by 15 points. All that could change when they take the court Saturday afternoon in Palo Alto, CA, to face the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal.

But coach Geno Auriemma has long embraced tough schedules and we're guessing he feels the same about this matchup between the country's top two programs. Two years ago, the Huskies went to Waco, TX and lost to Baylor in an early season game but the experience proved invaluable for then-freshman center Stefanie Dolson. Likewise, freshman Breanna Stewart will be tested this time around.

“I am looking forward to that game,” Stewart said via's Carl Adamec. “I heard Stanford is a pretty hostile environment. I think it is going to be pretty live. I am looking forward to experiencing the whole thing and hopefully playing a really good game.”

The Cardinal are currently working on an 82-game home winning streak, and the Huskies are 0-3 on the road versus Stanford, the last loss coming almost two years ago to the day.

But Stewart, who came to Storrs as the national player of the year, has averaged 16.9 points per game. Auriemma was typically understated when talking about one of the best freshmen to come through the program.

“She doesn’t even know how she scores,” he said. “So it is probably best to let her figure it out. She takes a lot of shots, and she makes a lot of them. Guys who take a lot of shots and make a lot of shots score a lot of points. Let me guess, she broke Maya Moore’s record? Another guy who took a lot of shots and made a lot of shots.

“That is what scorers do. They go into a game and they figure out how to score points. That is what she does. It is the same thing I said about Maya when Maya was a freshman. If Breanna Stewart ever learns how to play basketball, where her shots are coming from, when and how, she is going to be really good. So I’m not surprised she has scored a lot of points.”

Stewart will get her first real test Saturday. Whether she can continue to fill up the basket remains to be seen but she seems unfazed by it all.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” Stewart said. “I’m going to go out and help the team the best that I can.”

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