CHATTANOOGA — Stanford now has something in common with its next opponent.
The seventh-ranked Cardinal shot just 27.7 percent Wednesday and fell 54-46 to Chattanooga, their first regular-season non-conference loss to an unranked opponent in 14 years.
The stunning result came just three weeks after Chattanooga pulled off a 67-63 stunner over No. 11 Tennessee, which was ranked fourth at the time of their Nov. 26 meeting. Tennessee hosts Stanford (6-3) on Saturday.
Stanford lost despite holding Chattanooga without a basket after Keiana Gilbert had given the Mocs a 44-34 lead with 11:26 remaining. The Mocs went 7 of 8 on free throws in the last 50 seconds.
“I thought we had a lot of shots that we have to make if you want to play at this level,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said.
Chattanooga (7-3) has won 43 of its last 44 home games.
Mocs coach Jim Foster, a wine aficionado, said after the Tennessee game that “I think it's going be an Opus night” in reference to a favorite cabernet. Foster was asked Wednesday if he plans a similar celebration for this victory.
“I may go there again,” Foster said. “I know I've got some stashed away at a friend's house.”
VanDerveer and Foster are longtime friends who have worked together with USA Basketball. VanDerveer said she knew Foster's team would give the Cardinal a major challenge.
“(Foster) does a great job preparing his team,” VanDerveer said. “He's a basketball junkie. He loves basketball. He works hard. Their team is a very disciplined team. They're going to play his way, or they're not going to play. They played us very tough, very aggressive.”
Stanford absorbed its first regular-season, non-conference loss to an unranked foe since falling at Saint Mary's on Nov. 17, 2000. The Cardinal's leading scorer was Lili Thompson, whose nine points were less than half her previous season average of 19.7.
The Mocs used uncanny 3-point accuracy to build a double-digit lead. After missing its first four 3-point attempts, Chattanooga went 7 of 11 from beyond the arc the rest of the first half. The Mocs continually worked the shot clock down to the last 5 or 10 seconds.
“I wouldn't say we were necessarily caught off guard,” Stanford forward Erica Payne said. “I think we let them hit too many 3's and had some lapses.”
Stanford cut the lead to three points with 2:10 remaining and again with 36 seconds left, but the Cardinal couldn't come all the way back.
Stanford: After entering the night ranked sixth among all Division I teams with a 3-point percentage of 40.5, Stanford went 4 of 17 from beyond the arc, including 1 of 10 in the second half.
Chattanooga: Jasmine Joyner blocked five shots for the Mocs. Joyner had been averaging 3.7 blocks and had set a school single-game record last month by blocking eight shots in an 88-53 loss at No. 5 Notre Dame, which was then ranked third.
The Mocs were playing a second straight game without sophomore guard/forward Aryanna Gilbert, who injured her knee in practice Friday. Gilbert had started seven of Chattanooga's first eight games and averaged 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Shumpert has gone 9 of 18 from 3-point range in Chattanooga's last two games after going 10 of 41 from beyond the arc in the Mocs' first eight games. … Chattanooga's Moses Johnson scored 10 points Wednesday after failing to score in either of Chattanooga's last two games.
Stanford: At No. 11 Tennessee on Saturday
Chattanooga: Hosts Morgan State on Saturday in the Chattanooga Christmas Classic