Feb. 22, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. - The No. 1/1 University of Connecticut women's basketball team used a 22-1 run over a span of 6:59 in the second half, led by Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) with 12 points, to take down BIG EAST opponent No. 24/24 Notre Dame 76-66 on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
With the win, the Huskies improve to 27-0 on the season, their best start since 2002-03 when UConn opened with a perfect 31-0 record. UConn also moves to 13-0 in the conference, while Notre Dame falls to 7-6 in the conference and drops to 18-7 on the year. This was the 22nd all-time victory over the Irish, while the Huskies have now won 37 consecutive regular-season home games.
The Irish opened today's game with a 6-0 run, the Huskies' largest deficit of the season, as Notre Dame's six-point advantage was their largest of the game. UConn trailed for a total time of 16:53 in today's contest, including 16:30 in the first half, the longest amount of time the Huskies have trailed in any game this season.
Notre Dame shot .429 (12-of-28) from the floor in the first half, including 4-of-7 from behind the arc to stay in the game with the Huskies. UConn shot .419 (13-of-31) in the frame, as its largest lead of the half was just three points as Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) hit two free throws with 1:07 left on the clock.
The Huskies battled back from being behind 33-28 with 3:47 left in the first half and went on an 8-0 run to end the frame and a take a 36-33 lead into the break. Notre Dame also outrebounded the Huskies 19-18 as the lead changed seven times in the first 20 minutes.
UConn opened the second half with a 22-1 run, sparked by Moore as she netted 12 points in the 6:59 time span. Moore finished the second half with a 5-for-7 showing from the field and played 38 minutes on the afternoon.
Notre Dame's 43-41 lead at 16:11 marked the first time UConn has trailed in the second half this season, while UConn's 10-point win was its smallest margin of victory all year. The previous low was 11 points against Georgia Tech on November 16, 2008.
The Huskies finished the game shooting .475 (29-of-61) from the field, including a 7-of-13 showing from three-point land. Notre Dame also hit five three pointers in the game, while shooting .419 (26-of-62) from the floor. Both teams pulled down 36 rebounds as the Huskies picked up 20 points off Notre Dame's 13 turnovers.
Tina Charles' (Jamaica, N.Y.) 19 points moved her past Chris Gedney (1,409 points) and Peggy Walsh (1,413 points) into 16th on UConn's all-time list as her current total improved to 1,427. Charles also pulled down eight rebounds and picked up four blocks. Charles' 19-point tally marked her fifth straight game with double-figure points and her 23rd this season.
Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) finished the game with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting, while adding five steals and eight assists. Her five steals moves her past Sue Bird (243 steals) and into a tie with Ketia Swanier for seventh on UConn's all-time steals list with 247.
Moore tallied 18 points and four assists on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. She also added a 2-for-3 performance from behind the arc. It was the sophomore's 28th consecutive game with double-figure points and her 63rd in 65 career games.
Hayes' 10 points marked her fourth straight game with double-figure points and her fourth in the last five games overall.
After today's win, UConn has won its last 23 BIG EAST Conference home games, while boasting a record of 276-11 at home (Storrs and Hartford) since the 1993-94 season.
UConn will take on Villanova on Tuesday, Feb. 24 in a 7:30 p.m. tip in Gampel Pavilion. The BIG EAST match-up will be televised on CPTV.