Stanford’s Dwight Powell (33) blocks the shot of Connecticut’s Omar Calhoun (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in
Stanford's Dwight Powell (33) blocks the shot of Connecticut's Omar Calhoun (21) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham) ( Fred Beckham )

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Stanford basketball team traveled east in search of a signature victory, and the Cardinal got it Wednesday night.

After trailing by 10 points at halftime and 13 early in the second half, Stanford surged back against No. 10 Connecticut and held on for a 53-51 victory at the XL Center. After losing to nonconference opponents BYU and Pittsburgh last month, Stanford got a significant win that will enhance its résumé come tournament time.

For coach Johnny Dawkins, it was also a marquee win for the Pac-12.

"I think it's an important win for our conference," Dawkins said. "A number of teams have had some real signature wins. I'm just happy that we were able to have one as well."

HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 18: Anthony  Brown #21 of the Stanford Cardinal goes up for a layup in the first half against the Connecticut Huskies during the
HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 18: Anthony Brown #21 of the Stanford Cardinal goes up for a layup in the first half against the Connecticut Huskies during the game at XL Center on December 18, 2013 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) ( Jared Wickerham )

Stanford (8-2) was flat late in the first half, as UConn (9-1) went on an 8-0 run before intermission and led 38-28. UConn entered as a 46.5 percent 3-point-shooting team, and the Huskies were 6 for 10 from behind the line in the first half.

But the Cardinal's zone defense clicked in the second half. UConn extended the lead to 43-30 early in the half, but Stanford went on a 14-0 run as it began shutting down UConn's offense.

UConn was 0 for 12 on 3-pointers in the second half.

"To win the game in the way we won it defensively says a lot about our kids," Dawkins said. "At halftime, we were reeling, and we were trying to search and find out what we could do. Our guys really stepped up in this game on the defensive end. One of the best efforts I've ever seen for a half. I'm just really proud of the effort."

Stanford guard Chasson Randle led all scorers with 22 points. He scored eight during the 14-0 run and 12 in the second half.

Randle's jumper with 6:15 left gave Stanford a 50-49 lead. He followed with another jumper to extend the lead to three points, and UConn was unable to climb back against Stanford's zone.

"It was a matter of us being aggressive," Randle said. "Staying active, keeping our hands moving, keeping our feet moving."

Josh Huestis added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwight Powell had 10 points and 15 rebounds.

UConn's Shabazz Napier missed three shots in the final 40 seconds with a chance to put the Huskies ahead. He passed up an opportunity on UConn's final possession, passing the ball to Omar Calhoun, whose 3-pointer from the right wing bounced off the rim.

It was Stanford's first win against UConn after four losses and just its fifth victory in 18 games against Top-25 teams during Dawkins' tenure as coach. Next, Stanford will face 2013 NCAA runner-up Michigan at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday.

"Hats off to them," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. "They needed this win. ... It's going to be a good résumé win for them."

HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 18: Chasson Randle #5 of the Stanford Cardinal grabs a loose ball in front of Ryan Boatright #11 of the Connecticut Huskies in the
HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 18: Chasson Randle #5 of the Stanford Cardinal grabs a loose ball in front of Ryan Boatright #11 of the Connecticut Huskies in the first half during the game at XL Center on December 18, 2013 in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) ( Jared Wickerham )

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

SATURDAY'S GAME

Stanford (8-2) vs. Michigan (6-4) in Brooklyn, N.Y., 5:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1