NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Baylor's Odyssey Sims turned to Chiney Ogwumike on Saturday after an All-American presentation, and announced, "40/30."

Sure, an all-Ogwumike game of 40 points and 30 rebounds is one way for Stanford (33-3) to defy long odds against top-ranked and unbeaten Connecticut (38-0) in a Final Four matchup Sunday at Bridgestone Arena.

But not even another Ogwumike double-double is guaranteed against the nation's fiercest defensive team.

"We just have that ingrained in our minds, if you want to be a successful team, it starts on defense," said Huskies forward Breanna Stewart, named Saturday as the Associated Press women's college player of the year. "We know we can score. That's not one of the hard parts of our game."

UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey welcomed a question about the Huskies defense because so much is made of Connecticut's offensive production -- the team's margin of victory this season has been about 35 points per game.

"People rarely give us credit for being a good defensive team," Dailey said. "We don't have anyone who can lock people up individually."

But the players have integrated, knowing when not to foul and when to let the big shot blockers take over.

"We're going to go as long as we need to," Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said of the Stanford game. "We're going to attack them, we're going to pressure them. We're going to make them do things they aren't comfortable with."


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  • Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb lost to UConn and Stanford (twice) this season. Although the Huskies impress her, Gottlieb said it's not a foregone conclusion that UConn will waltz into the finale Tuesday against either Notre Dame or Maryland.

    "Any time you have Tara VanDerveer on the sideline your team has a chance," she said. "She doesn't just put in a game plan, but her players implement the plan well.

    "The rest of her players are underrated. They are better together than they would be individually."

  • Despite its aggressive defense, Connecticut leads the country with the fewest fouls at 11.8 per game. The disciplined play makes it even more of a challenge for Ogwumike.

    "They will not allow you to go on the block and just score," Ogwumike said. "You're going to have to beat us doing other things."

  • ESPN analyst and former UConn star Rebecca Lobo said trying to cover the 6-foot-4 Stewart is a nightmare.

    "What do you do with her?" Lobo asked. "End to end she puts pressure on you. She runs hard. She is fast. Who can guard her? When she is shooting the ball well, you can't."

    VanDerveer sees a different problem when dealing with the mobile Stewart.

    "By herself out there she would be another 6-4 kid with some versatility," the Cardinal coach said. "But we played against some of that."

    Stewart has 6-5 center Stefanie Dolson to cover the post and allow Stewart to move outside, where she has more room to create a potent offense.

    VanDerveer added that Mosqueda-Lewis' wing play further spreads the defense, allowing more opportunities for Stewart.

    "The story of Connecticut is not one player," VanDerveer said. "They have the most talented team in the country."

    Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.