STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford's Shannon Coffee didn't give Kalani Brown much room to maneuver in the paint, a defensive effort that helped the Cardinal build a big lead on third-ranked Baylor.
Coffee's rare display of 3-point shooting was just as critical, providing the spark Tara VanDerveer's team needed to close out their most significant win of the season.
Alanna Smith had 21 points and eight rebounds, Coffee made a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter and No. 11 Stanford held on to beat previously undefeated Baylor 68-63 on Saturday.
Kiana Williams had 13 points and five assists, DiJonai Carrington scored 10 points, and the Cardinal (7-1) ended the Bears' 36-game winning streak in the regular season.
The 6-foot-5 Coffee set season highs with nine points and 19 minutes.
"Shannon been someone that has been a role player for our team and a lot of times she's led the cheers on the bench," VanDerveer said. "Today people were cheering for her. She made some big shots. Her defense was really good. It was really exciting for her to have such a big game in a big game."
Coffee entered the day averaging fewer than five minutes per game, but she was pressed into extended duty to try to contain Brown and Baylor's inside game.
Brown had a season-low five points on 2-of-7 shooting, and Coffee also came through with her perimeter offense. Seven of Coffee's 12 career 3-pointers have come against Baylor, including three Saturday. She set career highs with 14 points in 27 minutes against Baylor last year.
"When people make big shots like that it's emotional," Smith said. "Shannon's been putting in so much work and it's showing in the games."
NaLyssa Smith and Chloe Jackson had 15 points apiece for Baylor (8-1). The Bears have defeated two Top 25 teams on the road this season but couldn't overcome 15 turnovers against the Cardinal.
"We were not very good today," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "I'm disappointed in several players that didn't show up. Unfortunately it was too deep a hole to overcome.
Stanford led comfortably through three quarters and was up 60-44 early in the fourth, then held off Baylor's best run of the game.
After NaLyssa Smith made back-to-back buckets to pull the Bears within 65-58 with 3:44 left, Coffee brought the Maples Pavilion crowd to its feet with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. Officials reviewed the play and it was upheld.
Juicy Landrum's 3-pointer made it 68-61, but she was later called for an offensive foul, and Baylor also committed a costly turnover down the stretch.
Baylor: The Bears made a nice run in the fourth but it was too little, too late. Mulkey was displeased after the game and for good reason. Baylor shot 34.9 percent from the floor and was held to 24 points in the first half for the second time this season. The Bears also had more turnovers (15) than assists (13).
Stanford: The Cardinal had been looking for a signature moment to their season and beating the third-ranked Bears definitely fits the mold. Smith's shooting in the fourth quarter kept Stanford ahead, but Carrington and Coffee had their big moments, too. The Cardinal didn't shoot very well and were beaten convincingly on the boards but made the plays when they needed to.
Baylor will most likely fall out of the top five but isn't likely to drop much further than sixth. Stanford should move up in the top 10 following its most impressive win this season but isn't likely to jump over No. 9 Tennessee.
FREE THROW BLUES
Stanford shot 9 of 21 on free throws, a primary factor in Baylor's ability to come back and make it close in the fourth quarter.
Baylor: The Bears get a two-week layoff before hosting Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Dec. 31. It's only Baylor's second home game since Nov. 15.
Stanford: The Cardinal play at No. 9 Tennessee on Tuesday. Stanford has lost 13 of 15 road games against the Lady Vols.