With the victory, the Huskies move to a perfect 20-0 for the second consecutive year and the sixth time since 1994-95, while extending their winning streak in the regular season to 28 games.
The Huskies traded baskets with the Cardinals for the first 11 minutes of the game before UConn took a nine-point lead at the 8:13 mark on two Tina Charles’ (Jamaica, N.Y.) free throws. But the Cardinals were able to battle back with a 9-0 run of their own to take a 32-31 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the frame.
The one-point lead was the last of the night for the Cardinals as the Huskies used a 14-0 run in the last 4:59 of the half to head into the break with a 45-32 lead. In that time span, the Huskies connected on three of their six three-pointers of the half to stretch their advantage to 13.
The Huskies’ run continued into the second half and expanded to as much as 30-4 between the two frames.
Turnovers troubled both teams in the first half as they combined for 23, while UConn netted 11 points off Louisville’s 13 mistakes. At the break, Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the Huskies with 12 points and eight rebounds, while UConn shot .485 (16-of-33) from the floor, including .429 (6-of-14) from behind the arc. The Cardinals shot .400 (12-of-30) from the field and hit just 1-of-9 from three point range.
UConn controlled the second frame, shooting .588 (20-of-34), to finish the game with a .537 (36-of-67) shooting percentage as the Huskies drained 12 three-pointers on the night for a .462 percentage.
Freshman Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) netted a career-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor as she recorded her eighth game in double-figure points this season. Charles’ also picked up a double-double on the night with 18 points and 10 rebounds, for her sixth of the season and 31st of her career.
Moore’s 27 points and 11 rebounds marked her 10th double-double of the season, while five Huskies scored in double-digits. Her tally also moved her into 30th on UConn’s all-time scoring list. Her current total of 1,075 moves her past Ashley Battle and Battle’s career total of 1,054.
Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) added 11 points, six assists and three steals for the Huskies as she picked up her 18th game this season with double-figure points and the 91st of her career. Her six assists in tonight’s contest moved her into fifth on the Huskies’ all-time assists list with a current total of 542, which surpasses Jill Brumbaugh’s career total of 541.
Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) also scored in double-figures with 12 points, while adding six rebounds and four assists. Her 12 points marked her seventh game with double-figure points this season and the 37th of her career.
Louisville’s Angel McCoughtry scored 24 points to lead the Cardinals, while she pulled down 13 rebounds in 37 minutes played. The Huskies held the Cardinals’ leading scorer to a 0-of-4 showing from three-point land.
After today’s win, UConn has won each of its last 24 games played at Gampel Pavilion and extends its regular-season home winning streak to 34 games – the longest nationally.
UConn will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 31 as the Huskies travel to Georgetown for a BIG EAST Conference battle in the nation’s capital. Tip is set for 3:00 p.m. (EST) against the Hoyas who post a 13-6 overall record this season.
- UConn moves to 6-1 all-time vs. Louisville and has won six straight against the Cardinals.
- Louisville marked Connecticut’s second top-10 opponent in its last three games.
- UConn has won 121 of its last 129 games against BIG EAST opponents in the regular season.
- UConn has won each of its last 24 games played at Gampel Pavilion.
- UConn moves to a perfect 20-0 to start the season for the second consecutive year and the sixth time since 1994-95.
- UConn opens BIG EAST Conference play 6-0 for the fifth straight season.
- UConn is 3-0 vs. ranked opponents this season and boasts a 133-53 record all-time against ranked foes.
- UConn moves to 215-83 all-time in the month of January and has won each if its last 21 games played in the first month of the year.
- UConn extends its winning streak in the regular season to 28 consecutive games.
- UConn ups its record on ESPN’s “Big Monday” to 7-2 overall and 2-0 this season.
- UConn extends its regular-season home winning streak to 34 games – the longest nationally.
- UConn has won each of its last 20 regular season games against BIG EAST opponents on its home court.
- UConn improves to 70-18 in nationally televised games and a perfect 5-0 this season.
- Today’s win clinches UConn’s 16th consecutive season with 20 wins and the 20th in the program’s history.
- UConn improves its record to 213-11 when playing as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press poll.
- UConn moves to 89-2 in its last 91 games at Gampel Pavilion.
- UConn has won each of its last 55 games against BIG EAST opponents in the regular season other than Rutgers.
- UConn is 121-8 in its last 129 games vs. BIG EAST opponents in the regular season (since Jan. 18, 2001).
- Tonight’s game marked the 799th of Head Coach Geno Auriemma’s career.
- UConn is 142-2 in its last 144 BIG EAST home games.
- UConn has mad at least one three-point field goal in 238 consecutive games.
- Connecticut’s all-time record against AP Top 25 teams is 133-53. They are 61-36 against teams in the AP Top 10, including 3-0 this season.
- Tiffany Hayes’ six 3-point field goals marked a career high.
- Tonight’s game marked the first time in BIG EAST Conference history that two former Conference Players of the Year have faced each other in a regular season game (Maya Moore 2008, Angel McCoughtry 2007).
- Tina Charles’ 18 points marked her fifth straight game with double-figure points and her 17th this season and the 68th of her career.
- Maya Moore’s 27 points marked her 21st game in double-figure points this season and her 56th in 58 career games.
- UConn put together a 14-0 run over the final 4:59 of the first half.
- Tiffany Hayes’ 23 points marks her eighth game with double-figure points this season.
- Maya Moore’s 27 points marked her eighth game with 20 or more points this season and the 21st of her career.
- Kalana Greene’s 12 points marked her seventh game with double-figure points this season and the 37th of her career.
- Tiffany Hayes’ 23 points marked a season-high.
- Tina Charles’ 18 points and 10 rebounds marked her sixth double-double this season and the 31st of her career.
- Maya Moore’s 27 points and 11 rebounds marked her 10th double-double this season and the 21st of her career.
- UConn has had five players register double-figure points nine times this season in 20 games this season. The Huskies did it only seven times in 38 games last year.
- Renee Montgomery’s 11 points marked her 18th game this season with double-figure points and the 91st of her career.
- UConn turned a one-point Louisville lead into a 25-point lead with a 30-4 run that spanned the final 4:59 of the first half and into the second.
- Maya Moore’s 27 points moved her into 30th on UConn’s all-time scoring list. Her current total of 1,075 points moves her past Ashley Battle and her career total of 1,054.
- Renee Montgomery’s six assists moved her into fifth on the Huskies all-time assists list. Her current total of 542 surpasses Jill Brumbaugh’s career total of 541.
- With its 28-point win over No. 6 Louisville, UConn has beaten its three ranked opponents, who all entered ranked in the Top-10 nationally, by an average of 28.7 points per game.
University of Connecticut
Head Coach Geno
On the play of UConn’s supporting cast in today’s game:
“I think that’s what makes our team the team that we are. We try not to build a team around one player or two players. We went into the game feeling like we could play Louisville a certain way. Trying to keep Angel from playing the way she wants to is difficult to do. What you have to hope for is that she has to take a lot of shots to score the points she is going to score. We also knew that there were going to be some guys on our team that weren’t going to be guarded, and if they didn’t step up, it’s not the game that it ended up being. You saw early in the game what was happening, when there was a little bit of tentativeness on our end. At halftime that’s all we talked about. If we were going to be a great team, we need people to contribute other than Maya (Moore) and Renee (Montgomery). If it’s just Maya and Renee, we don’t have a great team.”
Are you pleased with the way that this team has stood up to the challenge of playing three top-six teams this year and beating them handily?
“Yeah. We also addressed that. There are always things that you want to get better at and there are always things that you want to improve on as a coach. What we’re proud of right now is that whatever challenges come up, we’ve handled them, and we’ve handled them in a way that makes us feel good about ourselves. We haven’t gone in against some of these really good teams and won because they’ve played poorly. We played well at both ends of the floor. That’s what I always talk about – make other teams beat you, don’t lose games. We go into games with the idea that the other team has to beat us. We aren’t going to do anything to give away the game. Against some of the better teams that we’ve played we’ve gone out there to win, and made plays that winning teams have to make. It sounds really simple – we have really good players, we play hard and we play to win.”
On the fact that going into a game, there is no way of knowing which player will step up:
“Going in, there is no way that you say, ok, here’s what you’re going to get, because it’s an unknown. But, you have to hope that you’re getting something. I said this afternoon, I think to Rebecca (Lobo), that we need to get 25 great minutes out of Tiffany Hayes tonight. The question was what constitutes great minutes? You know, for her, great minutes are double-figures, four or five rebounds, a couple steals and a couple assists, because she’s a good player. You don’t know going in that they aren’t going to guard her at all, but at the same time, she was like 6-for-1000 going into this week, so I would say don’t guard her, too. After the third or fourth one, I would have gotten a hand up in her face, though. That’s just me.”
What does this win – especially it being a BIG EAST win, mean to the team?
“It definitely means more because it is a BIG EAST game. Our next goal is to win the regular season in the BIG EAST and Louisville’s one of the tougher teams in our league. They come out with excitement and to know that we could step up to that challenge and perform the way we did, it gives us a lot of confidence.”
On the defense Tiffany Hayes played:
“You see me smiling right now. I’m so proud of her, how she just came out and was smart, did her best to fight around screens, and just being aggressive. Angel [McCoughtry] has a way of drawing fouls on you so [Tiffany] got up to four fouls, but just to be able to do that on the defensive end, come out with that energy, and to come on the offensive end and also contribute I think just speaks to her game.”
What sparked the 14-0 to end the first half?
“That’s just one of those times where it just shows I think the character of our team. Coach was saying earlier, ‘Are we one of those teams that just gets satisfied with a ten point lead, or do we want to increase it?’ I think that just shows we’re that kind of team that no matter what the situation is, we always want to increase, we always want to go and just push the score up as high as we can. The ball was going in and we just built on that momentum. We ended the first half with a lot of momentum that carried over to the second half.”
They said the game plan was to leave you open to see if you can hit that. Did you feel that while you were in the game and when did you know that you had it tonight?
“I had a feeling that was the game plan and I figured that I had to step up and do what I had to do and hit threes.”
When did you know you had it tonight?
“When I made my first one.”
Was it difficult to keep your confidence level and knew that you were going to come out of it eventually?
“I had the help of my teammates telling me to keep shooting and I worked on it in practice everyday to get my confidence up.”
Does playing well defensively on Angel McCoughtry carry over to offense?
“It definitely does. I was happy that I could do so well defensively on her and that excitement carried over to offense”
University of Louisville
Head Coach Jeff Walz
Can you comment on what happened that lead to UConn’s 14-0 run?
“I thought for the first 14 minutes of the game that we actually did a very good job of controlling things. We had a game plan in place that I thought we did a very good job of executing and then they made back-to-back trips down the court. We lose Maya (Moore) and Renee (Montgomery) and it turned into back-to-back three’s. Then we went down the floor on consecutive trips and turn it over back-to-back times. When you are playing a team like this you can’t afford to do that. Unfortunately, that is what transpired. I think we actually got a stop the next time, they missed a shot, but then they got an offensive board and it turned into a big layup. They are able to score so quickly and you can’t afford to have a breakdown.”
On Tiffany Hayes’ performance
“I hope that the kid (Tiffany Hayes) is a player of week for the BIG EAST cause that’s what I told our kids. We are going to make someone else score. She hit three of those free three’s and they were deep. It is not like she was standing on the three point line. She was three or four feet behind the men’s three point line. That was just a chance you take and I was going to make the kid shoot them and she did. More power to her. I thought she played well. I told her when she was throwing the ball in bounds in front of our bench that she was shooting well.”
Senior Angel McCoughtry
During the last five minutes of the first half UConn went on a 14-0 run; what were they doing that you weren’t doing?
“They are a great team who converts off turnovers and we had a couple of careless turnovers, unforced turnovers and of course, being number one, they are going to convert.”
Were you surprised with the final outcome tonight?
“I am not surprised, I’m just disappointed. I felt like we were capable of winning this game, but we just didn’t play our game tonight…We had 23 turnovers and we weren’t converting and we slipped up on defense. Our defense started sliding in the second half.”
On the UConn-Louisville series
“I think we can play with anyone in the country. I think that we just need to get our spirits up. Last year they beat us badly at home and we learned from it. Like I said before, I think UConn helps teams get better by them being so good. It helps you work on your weaknesses. They exploit all your weaknesses. I think we will be back stronger and better and hopefully we can meet each other again.”
Senior Candyce Bingham
It seemed like you were trying to run five on two and let other people beat you besides Maya Moore and Renee Montgomery and then Tiffany Hayes hit those three’s. Can you comment on that?
“That was the game plan, but UConn is number one and they had someone step up and she stepped up.”
Freshman Deseree’ Byrd
On the pressure going into this game
“There wasn’t a lot of pressure. The excitement was there, but they went on a 14-0 run and we shut down.”