HARTFORD, Conn. — Maya Moore
scored 23 points and Tina Charles added 20 to help top-ranked UConn win
its 49th straight game, an 80-68 victory over No. 2 Stanford on
Wednesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 16,294.
The Huskies (10-0) won their first
nine games this season by at least 25 points and an average of 46.
UConn hadn’t faced a team the caliber of the Cardinal, who the Huskies
beat last season in the national semifinals en route to a perfect 39-0
record and sixth NCAA title.
The Cardinal (9-1) proved to be no
match as UConn extended the third-longest winning streak in women’s
basketball history. UConn won 70 straight from 2001-03 and Louisiana
Tech had a 54-game streak from 1980-82.
Stanford, which beat then-No. 7 Duke
and third-ranked Tennessee last week, was the last team to beat UConn,
topping the Huskies in the 2008 Final Four.
It was the 44th meeting of the top
two teams in the poll: No. 1 leads 25-19. UConn has been involved in 13
of those games, going 11-2 — including an 8-1 mark as the No. 1 team.
Kalana Greene added 17 points and
Tiffany Hayes had 16 for UConn, which has won every game during its
current run by at least 10 points.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 20 points and Kayla Pedersen added 14 for the Cardinal.
UConn trailed 44-42 early in the
second half before going on a 30-6 run over the next 11 minutes. Greene
started the spurt with a layup and Moore’s 3-pointer with 15:01 gave
UConn a 49-44 lead. The Huskies had made just one of their first 14 3s
JJ Hones answered with a 3-pointer to
bring the Cardinal back within two, but UConn then rattled off 10
straight points — including five by Charles to take a 12-point lead and
bring the first sellout crowd at the XL Center for the UConn women
since they played Tennessee on Jan. 6, 2007, to its feet.
Ogwumike finally ended a 3
1/2-minute drought with a layup. UConn scored the next six points on
layups to make it 65-49 with 9:30 left. Hayes’ layup with 5:51 left
gave UConn a 22-point lead.
Stanford would only get within 12 the rest of the game.
The first 20 minutes was an
offensive showcase. UConn led 19-10 early before Stanford went on a
15-2 run capped by Pedersen’s jumper that made it 25-21 midway through
the first half. Pedersen and Ogwumike had 11 of the Cardinal’s 15
points during the spurt. It was the biggest deficit UConn faced all
season. The Huskies had only trailed for a total of 2:38 in their first
The teams traded baskets the rest of
the half and Stanford led 40-38 at the break. It was the first time
UConn found itself down at halftime since the 2008 loss to the
Ogwumike had 16 points and Pedersen
12 as Stanford shot 57 percent from the field in the half. Charles
scored 12 and Moore 11 for the Huskies, who were at 50 percent from the
field, but just 1-of-13 from behind the 3-point line.
At 5-5, Stanford is one of the rare
teams to have success against UConn since Geno Auriemma took over the
program in 1985. Wednesday was the Cardinal’s first regular-season trip
to Connecticut since Jan. 20, 1993 — and only second all-time.
Connecticut will go to Stanford next season.
Connecticut honored the 1999-2000
championship team at halftime. That team, led by Sue Bird, Swin Cash
and Svetlana Abrosimova, won the second of UConn’s national
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