– Junior Tina Charles
(Jamaica, N.Y.) scored 15 points to surpass the 1,000-career point mark to lead the No. 1/1 University of Connecticut women’s basketball team over Georgia Tech 82-71 in the Huskies’ home opener on Sunday afternoon in Gampel Pavilion.
Charles’ 1,000th point came with a layup at the 11:16 mark in the first half as she became the 31st player in UConn history to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier. Her 15 points improved her career point tally to 1,011, placing her at No. 30 on UConn’s all-time scorers’ list, surpassing Amy Duran’s career mark of 1,000. Charles also finished the afternoon with eight rebounds and three blocked shots as her three blocks moved the junior to fifth all-time on UConn’s career blocks list with 152, passing Ashja Jones’ tally of 151.
With today’s victory, UConn improves to 27-8 all-time in regular season openers and has won its last 13 in a row while posting a 20-4 record in regular season openers under head coach Geno Auriemma.
Sophomore Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) recorded her 12th career double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds as she led the 1-0 Huskies in today’s match-up over the 1-1 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Moore also chipped in with six assists while recording 20 points or more for the 14th time in her career. With her 14 rebounds, Moore picked up her 12th double-figure rebound game at UConn.
Caroline Doty (Doylestown, Pa.), Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) and Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) all finished in double-figures as Montgomery picked up 15 points, four steals and five assists. Doty and Greene added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Montgomery made her 100th consecutive start for the Huskies and the 110th start of her career as she leads all current players in Division I women’s basketball in those two categories.
It was a close battle in the first half as the Huskies recorded 20 points in the paint while both teams entered the locker room at the break with the score knotted at 34. The Yellow Jackets, who were facing the Huskies for the first time in program history, finished the first half shooting 12-for-29 from the floor, including a 4-for-5 showing from behind the arc while Mo Bennett led her team with nine points. UConn was led by Montgomery with nine points as well, while Moore had 10 first-half rebounds.
UConn opened the second half by making 4-of-5 shots from the floor along with three free throws to take a 47-38 advantage in the first five minutes of the second frame. Georgia Tech was able to stay in the game as the Yellow Jackets hit 10-of-15 from behind the three-point line, including six three pointers in the second half.
Doty put the Huskies up by nine with a three pointer with under eight minutes to go but a 6-0 run by Georgia Tech cut the UConn lead to three at 65-62. But in the end the Huskies were able to break away as Charles recorded six points in a span of 1:39 to bring the UConn lead to 12 at 78-66.
The Huskies took their largest lead of the night at 15, 81-66, as Moore connected on two free throws with 1:03 left in the game. UConn finished the game with 46 points in the paint and 39 points off Georgia Tech turnovers while the Yellow Jackets connected on 31 bench points. The Huskies shot 29-for-59 from the floor, a 49.2 percentage, that was sparked by a 16-for-26 shooting performance in the second half alone.
At halftime of today’s game, the 1994-95 NCAA National Championship team, which finished the season with a perfect 35-0 record, was honored and inducted into the “UConn Huskies of Honor” recognition program in front of a crowd of 8,871.
UConn will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 20 as the Huskies will take on San Diego State in non-conference action at the XL Center in Hartford. Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.
|1st ||2nd || ||Final |
|Georgia Tech ||34 ||37 || ||71 |
|1/1 Connecticut ||34 ||48 || ||82 |
- Today’s game marked the first-ever game between UConn and Georgia Tech in the sport of women’s basketball.
-UConn improves to 27-13 all-time against opponents from the ACC and has won its last five games overall vs. ACC foes. The Huskies now own a winning record in the all-time series against every ACC conference member except North Carolina.
-UConn has won 85 of its last 87 regular season games at Gampel Pavilion.
-UConn extends its streak of consecutive games without back-to-back losses to 539 straight. UConn is now 45-0 following a loss during the streak.
-UConn junior Tina Charles scored her 1000th career point at the 11:14 mark of the first half. She hits the mark in her 75th career game. She is the 31st player to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier in UConn history.
-Tina Charles’ 15 points gives her a career total of 1,011 points which puts her in 30th place all time surpassing Amy Duran’s career total of 1,000 points.
-Freshman Caroline Doty made her first career start in her first-ever collegiate game.
-Renee Montgomery made her 100th consecutive start and the 110th of her career-both totals are the highest in the nation.
-One of today’s officials, Dee Kantner, also was on the crew for the 1995 NCAA National Championship Game, which was won by Connecticut.
-Today’s game marked the seventh time in the past eight seasons that the Huskies opened the regular season at Gampel Pavilion.
-Following today’s win, UConn improves to 27-8 all-time in regular season openers and has won its last 13 in a row. UConn also has a 20-4 record in regular season openers under Geno Auriemma.
-UConn improves to 30-5 all-time in home openers, including a 23-1 mark under Geno Auriemma. The only loss during Auriemma’s tenure was on November 29, 1990 against Iowa (58-41).
-The Huskies have won 18 straight home openers following tonight’s win.
-The entire 1995 NCAA National Championship winning UConn women’s basketball team was inducted into the “Huskies of Honor’ at halftime.
-UConn extends its current regular-season home winning streak to 25 consecutive games.
-UConn has won 212 straight home games vs. non-ranked opponents.
-UConn has won 88 straight games overall vs. non-ranked opponents.
-UConn owns a nine-game non-conference winning streak at home.
-Maya Moore pulled down 10 rebounds in the first half, the 12th double figure rebound game of her career.
-Tina Charles’ three blocks moved her to 5th all-time on the career blocks list. Her career total of 152 moves her past Ashja Jones and her career total of 151.
-Today’s 34-34 halftime score marked the first time UConn was either tied or trailing at the half in a season opener against an unranked foe since November 24, 1991 when they trailed California 37-31. The last time UConn trailed or was tied at the half in a season opener against any opponent was on November 19, 1995 against fourth-ranked Louisiana Tech, the score at the half was 35-31.
-Maya Moore’s 20 points and 14 rebounds marked her 12th career double-double.
-Maya Moore’s 20 points marked the 37th time she has scored double-figure points and the 14th time she has had 20 or more points.
-Renee Montgomery’s 15 points marks her 74th career game in double figures and 11th straight game dating back to 2007-08 season.
-Kalana Greene saw her first game action since December 17, 2007 and finished 5-5 from the field and scored 11 points. This was her 31st game with double-figure points.
-Caroline Doty registered 13 points her 1st career game with double-figure points.
-Tina Charles’ 15 points marked the 52nd time she has scored in double figures.
-Georgia Tech’s 10 3-pointers were the most by any UConn opponent since UW-Green Bay dropped 10 on March 20, 2007.
-Renee Montgomery’s 15 points increased her career total to 1,361. She is four points shy of Charde Houston’s 22nd place total (1,365 points).
University of Connecticut
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“A game like this to open the season, we knew going in that it was going to be tough because of their style of play, and it turned out to be exactly what we thought it would be. The first half, where they made three or four 3’s when the shot clock ran out, that, and then made six in the second half – I don’t think anyone made 10 against us all of last year. This early in the season, you hope that you do enough good things and that you make enough good plays at both ends of the floor. I thought in the second half we did. I don’t think we did in the first half at all, but I think we did in the second half. The last five minutes of the game, I thought were good. Those were our best five minutes of the game, those last five minutes.”
What did you think of the defensive intensity that the team showed in the last five minutes?
“There was a sense of purpose in that last five, six minutes. Certainly down the stretch when we knew what they were trying to do and we knew that it depended on one more stop. With each stop that you get, you get closer to winning the game. What also happened was, we were able to turn some of that defense into offense at the other end. So, I think in the last five minutes, twice, if I’m not mistaken, we did something that gave us a bucket off stuff that we actually practiced.”
Do you think it’s interesting to see a team that wants to play UConn so much to begin the season?
“There’s something about the position we’re in that brings out these kind of performances from teams that we play. I don’t care whether it’s the opener at home, a week from now or two weeks from now, if we’re still in that situation where the polls say your number one, we’re going to have to deal with that.”
Is it good to early on get a sense of how your team is going to perform?
“You hope that you take all the things that were within this game and carry them over to the next one. It gives us an opportunity to go back and figure out a couple of things that we wouldn’t have had to figure out if we had come out and own by 60 like we did in the two exhibition games. I think a game like this, 40 minutes of stuff on film that you can take into practice and apply to the next game.”
Renee, can you talk about the style of play, they got in your face and try to push you around a little bit, did you like how you responded to that?
“We had practiced that style of play for the past couple of days. We had our practice players pushing and fouling us and for the most part we broke the press pretty well and were able to get a lot of lay-ups. They still continued to play hard but we knew that was coming.”
Can you assess your performance over the last five minutes and what do you take away from this game?
“It shouldn’t have come to the final five minutes. We should have handled business over the first 35 minutes but we can be happy on how we handled ourselves when the game was on the line. ”
On reaching 1,000 career points:
“I think it’s cool. I think if anybody is more excited, I think my mom is more excited because she kept talking about it even from the summer time. Just to see her happy is cool and everything, but basically if I want to set the tone [of the game] I can’t pick up dumb fouls. It doesn’t look good and we don’t have a center presence in the game. Looking at [the game] from the bench looks real bad. I just have to change that.”
On what it meant to see the 1995 team:
“I think when we see players from the past, when we interact with them it feels like we play with them. We were very close to them. I’ve never played basketball with Kara [Wolters], Meghan Culmo, and Jamelle [Elliott] but we’re really close to them when we interact with them off the court.”
Head Coach MaChelle Joseph
“I really thought that our team showed up today and played extremely hard. We were very excited as well. For a young team, I’ve got 10 freshmen and sophomores out there; I thought we were pretty resilient. Every time that they delivered a punch, I felt that we punched back. In the second half I thought Maya Moore was Maya Moore. She stepped up and made some big plays especially down the stretch. I was really pleased with our effort and I thought that there were times that we did some really good things out there. Anytime you come into the number one team in the country and give them a battle the way we did for 35 minutes, I think that it bodes well for us down the road.”
What did you think was the biggest difference in the final five minutes?
“I think great players make plays at the end of the game and I thought Maya Moore made several big plays. Tina Charles was in foul trouble in the first half and she came out in the second half and really did some great things around the basket. We just didn’t have an answer for her offensive rebounding at the end and when she was posting up on the block. I thought they did a great job of making that adjustment and going inside to her. I just think when you have Maya Moore, Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery, three of the best players in the country, out on the court at the same time, at the end of the game that’s what great players do. They step up and they make plays. I thought those players, down the stretch with eight or nine minutes left to go, made plays. “
Your team was 10-15 from behind the arc, is that something that you expect to see from this team?
“The biggest question marks heading into this season were where was our three-point shooting going to come from and where was our point guard play going to come from. I think you saw out there today that we’ve been able to answer a couple of those questions. During the off-season these kids spent the whole summer at Georgia Tech and we all knew that one of the things that we were going to have to work on was our three-point shooting. I was really pleased with the way Mo Bennett, a freshman, came out here today in her first college game on the road and scored 19 points against the number one team. We knew coming out of high school that she was a top 25 player and we really felt like she was going to be an impact player, but I was thinking maybe in January when we started ACC play. For her to show up today and do what she did it’s a good sign of the depth we have on the perimeter with Alex (Montgomery), Jacqua (Williams) and Deja Foster and some of those players you saw out there.”
Sophomore Alex Montgomery
What did you expect from yourselves today after winning the season opener at home?
“Basically we were just focused and ready to play. We were going to let the name on their jerseys strike fear in us. We were just ready. They are just like any other team, just like us. They put on their tights the same way as us. We didn’t have any fear we were just focused.”