Feb. 24, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - Junior Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) had 19 points and 10 rebounds for her 33rd career double-double to help the No. 1/1 University of Connecticut women's basketball team cruise to a 74-47 victory over Villanova on Tuesday night in Gampel Pavilion.
With tonight's win the Huskies clinch a share of the BIG EAST Regular Season title but can earn the title outright with a victory over Seton Hall on Saturday. This is the 17th time in program history and the third consecutive season in which UConn has won the regular season crown.
The Huskies used tonight's conference win to improve to 14-0 in the BIG EAST and a perfect 28-0 on the year, while Villanova falls to 17-11 overall and 9-5 in the conference.
UConn opened tonight's contest with a 16-3 run as Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) hit two three pointers to extend the UConn lead to 13 just 6:01 into the ballgame. The Huskies extended their lead to as much as 25 points with 1:05 left in the first half on a Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) free throw.
But Villanova used a 7-0 run in the last 42 seconds of the half to cut the UConn lead to 18 to head into the break with the score at 39-21. The Wildcats stayed in the game in the first frame, hitting 5-of-18 three pointers.
Villanova's first four made baskets were all three pointers as its first two-point field goal of the contest came with just 47 seconds left in the first half. The Wildcats added their fifth three-pointer of the half at the buzzer as Laura Kurz hit a deep three to cut the lead to 18.
The Wildcats extended their run to 11-0 into the second half to cut their deficit to 14 points before the Huskies put together a 12-4 run of their own to put them back up by 21. Fouls troubled the Wildcats throughout the entire game as they were called for 23 on the night.
The Huskies dominated on the boards, outrebounding Villanova 53-31.
Charles' 19 points marked her 24th game with double figures as she led three Huskies in double digit scoring. Montgomery and Greene posted 17 and 15 points, respectively, as Montgomery added three assists and two steals on the night.
Greene finished the contest with a 5-for-8 showing from the field, three assists and six rebounds, while Moore pulled down 11 boards to go along with her eight points. Freshman Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) grabbed 12 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive glass, and picked up six points.
The Huskies shot .424 (25-for-59) from the floor, while hitting just 3-of-14 from behind the arc as they shot 0-of-6 in the second half. Villanova shot .281 (16-of-57) from the field, including a 7-of-34 showing from three-point land.
UConn also recorded 18 points off 15 Wildcat turnovers and picked up 21 second chance points, while Villanova recorded no second chance attempts, marking another key factor in tonight's BIG EAST Conference match-up.
Montgomery's 17 points marked her 100th career game with double-figures and her 14th consecutive game this season, while her two steals moved her past Rita Williams (248 steals) into sixth place all-time on UConn's career list. Montgomery's current total is 249.
Moore's eight points marked her first game this season not scoring in double-figures, snapping her 28-game streak. This is only the third time in 66 career games she has failed to register double-figure points. The sophomore's 11 rebounds marked her 15th game this season, including five of the last seven games, with double-figure rebounds.
Tonight's contest saw all 12 active UConn players score at least one point, the first time all season that the entire active roster has played and scored. The Huskies' also improved their average margin of victory on the season as they have played 28 games and have defeated their opponents by 31.8 points per game.
With the victory, UConn has won 37 straight regular-season home games, which is the nation's largest active winning streak. The Huskies have also won 129 of their last 137 games against BIG EAST opponents, while posting a perfect 7-0 record in Gampel Pavilion this season.
UConn concludes its three-game home stand with its annual "Senior Night" game at the XL Center in Hartford as the Huskies take on Seton Hall in BIG EAST Conference action on Saturday, Feb. 28 in a 7:30 p.m. tip.