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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Breaking down UConn-Stanford

ESPN.com

Prior to Wednesday's matchup between No. 1 UConn (9-0) and second-ranked Stanford (9-0), ESPN's Trey Wingo, Carolyn Peck and Kara Lawson will host "College Basketball Scoreboard" (ESPN2, 5 p.m. ET), a 30-minute show looking at the No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown of unbeatens and the season to date.

Wednesday's game marks the 42nd meeting between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the AP poll. The No. 1 teams have won 23 of the 41 meetings, including UConn's win over North Carolina in January. Stanford is 9-0 for the first time since 1996-97. The Huskies have won 48 consecutive games since falling to Stanford in the 2008 Final Four.

Peck and Lawson break down the two teams:

What are Connecticut's keys to winning the game?

Peck
Peck
Lawson
Lawson
Lawson: Success in early offense. Make Stanford guards be the playmakers and limit number of turnovers.

Peck: UConn needs to be efficient with its transition offense. The Huskies should use their speed. Post transition will be key to watch. Defend the post one-on-one; collapsing in on the post will leave too many 3-point shooters open. The Huskies will need to stay in the attack mode and get to the free-throw line.

What are Stanford's keys to winning the game?

Lawson: Pound the paint and glass; control UConn runs (transition defense) and handle pressure.

Peck: Defend the points in the paint. Tina Charles and Maya Moore can cause some trouble in that area, but so can Kalana Greene off the dribble and rebounding. Force UConn to take more perimeter shots and limit second-chance opportunities. Limit transition points given up due to turnovers. Hit perimeter shots to keep things open in the paint.

Jayne Appel vs. Tina Charles

Lawson: Appel is the most complete offensive post player in the country. She runs the floor hard every time. She is a great passer and has tremendous feel for the game. Appel is very, very physical.

Charles is a game changer. She can control both ends of the floor with her presence, athleticism and rebounding ability. She's a very active defender. She must set the tone early in the game.

Peck: Appel is versatile, able to use her left hand as well as her right. She is one of the best post passers in the game. She sees the floor extremely well out of double and triple teams.

Charles has gained some meanness to her game throughout her career. She is quick and has tremendous foot work. She also can score in a number of ways, expanding her game to the free-throw line area, and taking it off the dribble.

Information from ESPN researcher Greg Dohmann is included in this report.