UConn knocks off Howard for record win
There was no fanfare, no public announcement, no celebration under the basket.
Connecticut beat Howard 86-25 on Friday night to win it's 82nd straight game, setting an NCAA women's basketball record for consecutive victories. But to the Huskies, it was just another blowout.
Maya Moore scored 20 points to help top-ranked UConn break its tie with Washington University in St. Louis, a Division III school, which won 81 straight between Feb. 20, 1998-Jan. 12, 2001.
''Of course it's awesome to know that and to take pride in that,'' said Moore. ''But it's even more important as every game builds to make sure that we keep things in perspective.''
UConn's last loss came in the national semifinals in 2008 to Stanford. The Huskies stand six wins short of matching the 88-straight victories set in the early 70s by the UCLA men's basketball team.
Coach Geno Auriemma said he's not sensing that his team is feeling any added pressure as that milestone gets closer.
''We already have the streak,'' he said. ''We've won more games than any other women's basketball team ever in a row. So, whatever happens, happens.''
This was the first of three games in three days for UConn, which is hosting the World Vision Classic. UConn (4-0) will take on Lehigh on Saturday, and hosts LSU on Sunday. The Tigers beat Lehigh 74-63 in the first game Friday.
Freshmen Bria Hartley (16 points) and Stefanie Dolson (13 points) had their best games as Huskies.
Jerelle Gorham led Howard (2-4) with six points on two early 3-pointers.
Moore, who played just 22 minutes for UConn (4-0), moved within 77 points of the school's all-time scoring mark set by Tina Charles last season.
Connecticut opened a quick 9-0 lead, but Howard battled early and trailed just 12-8 6 1/2 minutes into the game.
That would be as close as the Bison would get.
UConn scored the next 12, eight coming from Hartley and the Huskies went on a 29-3 run that made it 41-11.
''There were moments when we had great shots, but we just didn't knock them down,'' said Howard coach Niki Reid Geckeler. ''There is a lot that we can learn from this game and grow as we move into conference play this season.''
UConn led 52-16 at the half, and held Howard to just 20 percent shooting from the floor.
A 3-pointer from Moore capped an 11-0 run that began the second half and UConn cruised home. A Hartley 3-pointer put UConn up 52 at 70-18.
Hartley hit five of her first six shots from the field and Howard had no answer for Dolson, who seemed to post up for layups at will. Hartley and Moore each had 13 points at the half, and Dolson had 11.
Dolson and backup center Heather Buck had just 14 points combined coming into the game. Buck had eight on Friday.
''I'm always someone to overthink things,'' said Dolson ''So when you have a game like this, it definitely helps your confidence and hopefully it will definitely carry on to other games this weekend and other games in the future.''
Fresh off consecutive 39-0 seasons, the Huskies are now a 4-0 start that includes a 65-64 win over No. 2 Baylor. But most of the wins haven't been nearly that close. The Huskies came in with a 32-point average margin of victory during the streak.
UConn has now won 139 consecutive games against unranked opponents, and 239 against unranked opponents at home.
This was the 31st game during the streak in which the Huskies had more points at halftime (52) than their opponent had during the entire game.