Junior Mel Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio) led all scorers with 23 points, which was highlighted by four three-pointers that moved her past Amy Duran and Nykesha Sales and into sole possession of 10th place on the UConn career 3-point list with her current total of 136 treys.
Freshman Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) posted her team-best fourth double-double of the season with a season-high 20 points and 12 rebounds while junior Charde Houston (San Diego, Calif.) registered 19 points.
Sophomore Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W.Va.) rounded out the players in double-figure points with 17.
UConn won its 13th game of the season by a margin of 11 points or more. UConn also extended its winning streak versus Seton Hall to 23 consecutive games and leads the all-time series against the Pirates 43-10.
Houston was the first to score for the Huskies at 19:05 and followed it up with a baseline jumper not 15 seconds later after a steal by Thomas for a 4-2 lead. Houston laid in two more after beating two Seton Hall (9-6, 1-3 BIG EAST) defenders in the lane with 16:48 on the clock.
Thomas connected on three free throw attempts after being fouled from beyond-the-arc for a 12-4 early advantage. Montgomery followed with back-to-back treys to cap off a 17-4 UConn run.
Charles got in the action with a bucket at 11:15. Junior Ketia Swanier
(Columbus, Ga.) followed with a full-court lay-in following at steal to up the UConn margin to 34-15.
Following a block by sophomore Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.), Tahirah Williams (Montclair, N.J.) completed a three-point play after she was fouled on a successful drive through the lane.
Montgomery grabbed her second steal of the night and gave it up to Thomas for the bucket to increase the UConn lead to 25 points with 58 seconds to play in the first half.
The Huskies' nine first-half steals were their most in a half this season. UConn shot 65.7 (23-of-35) percent in the first half, its highest field goal percentage of a first half since shooting 69.7 (23-of-33) percent against Western Michigan on November 23, 2003 – a 118-game span.
With the shot clock winding down, Houston used a hook shot to put UConn up 65-36 in the opening minutes of the second half. Charles fought in the low post for a basket with 13:26 on the clock.
Thomas hit from 3-point range to extend the lead to 79-45. Just 39 seconds later, another three-point attempt by Thomas was good, marking her third 3-pointer of the evening. Freshman Kaili McLaren (Washington, D.C.) hit a jump shot for two points with 10:57 remaining.
Freshman Meghan Gardler (Springfield, Pa.) hit a trey from well beyond the 3-point line for a 37-point lead at 92-55.
Sophomore Cassie Kerns (Valparaiso, Ind.) connected on a bank shot for her first points of the contest at 2:39. Montgomery took over late in the game collecting five of the final 12 points as the Huskies eclipsed the century mark to win 106-58.
Greene finished with eight points while McLaren brought down eight rebounds on the night.
Tonight marked UConn’s second game this season with more than one player totaling at least 20 points.
The Huskies return to the hardwood on Saturday, January 13, against Syracuse for a 2:00 p.m. (ET) contest at Gampel Pavilion.
SCOREBOARD 1st 2nd Final Seton Hall 29 29 58 UConn 58 48 106
Post Game Quotes
ü UConn extended its streak without back-to-back losses to 479 consecutive games and improves to 40-0 following a loss during the streak.
ü UConn won its 13th game this season by a margin of 11 points or more.
ü UConn extends its winning streak vs. Seton Hall to 23 consecutive games and leads the all-time series vs. the Pirates 43-10.
ü UConn improves to a perfect 13-0 vs. Seton Hall all-time at Gampel Pavilion.
ü Mel Thomas moves past Amy Duran and Nykesha Sales into 10th place on the UConn career 3-point list with her current total of 136 treys.
ü UConn’s 3-0 record to open Big East Play marks the third straight season that the Huskies have opened the league slate 3-0.
ü UConn improves to 224-17 all-time at Gampel Pavilion.
ü UConn extended its consecutive game with at least one 3-pointer to 156 straight games.
ü UConn improves to 87-7 vs. Big East opponents since January 18, 2001.
ü UConn extends its homecourt winning streak vs. non-ranked opponents to 193 consecutive games.
ü Charde Houston’s 19 points marked her third straight game in double-figure points and her ninth in 13 games this season.
ü UConn’s first-half field goal percentage of .657 (23-of-35) marked its highest mark in the first-half this season.
ü UConn’s 106 points marked the most since they scored 107 against Buffalo on November 19, 2004.
ü UConn’s 28 assists is the most since they recorded 30 against Buffalo on November 19, 2004.
ü UConn’s 58 first-half points marked its highest scoring total in any half this season.
ü UConn is a perfect 8-0 this season when four or more players score double-figure points.
ü Renee Montgomery’s 17 points mark her 11th game in double-figure points this season.
ü Mel Thomas’ 23 points marked her seventh game in double-figure points this season and matched her season-high.
ü UConn’s first half field goal percentage of .657 (23-of-35) marked its highest field goal percentage in an opening half since it shot a .697 (23-of-33) clip vs. Western Michigan on November 23, 2003-a span of 118 games.
ü Tina Charles’ 20 points marked a season-high and her eighth game this season in double-figure points-she also added 12 rebounds for her team-best fourth double-double this season.
ü UConn’s 58 first-half points marked its highest point total in a half since scoring 58 vs. Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, 2005-a span of 58 games.
ü Tonight marked UConn’s second game this season with more than one player totaling at least 20 points.
University of Connecticut
What were you most happy with tonight?
“I think for us the whole point of emphasis going in to the game from the last couple days of practice was going into the game with a better mind set. It was more of a ‘take the basketball and push it up the court and get into our offense a little faster’. We worked a lot with Ketia (Swanier) and Renee (Montgomery) to look where our opportunities are instead of flying up the floor and just end up where we end up. There’s a distinct difference between who’s on this side of the floor and who’s on that side of the floor. And then on the defensive end we extended our defense right from the beginning instead of waiting until we get into it. I think that got us into a much more attacking kind of a mode. I think this team, for the most part, can play like that, I don’t know how long, but they can play like that every game. I think we’re comfortable in that style of play.”
Is it important for the team to score 100 points?
“I don’t think there’s and magic number or any significance to it. We had 88 with 8 minutes left and we took Mel (Thomas) out and then we only scored a free throw and a bucket. So, I was little bit miffed that there was so much lack of ball movement. But in the last four minutes they were really aggressive. The final score doesn’t mean anything but if Meghan (Gardler) played well or Tahirah (Williams) played well then that’s going to carry over and make a difference. It’s not just sending them out there to kill the clock. You’re not out there trying to kill time but you’re out there getting things done.”
Was it just Mel or the whole offense working well together tonight?
”Well, one of the things that I thought was key was that when you’re trying to run most of the time, you’re trying to run Mel out of your set offense to get open and that’s not an easy thing to do. Its not easy because the other team isn’t stupid in their strategy and one way to offset some of that is to find her in transition. Now the guys running back on defense have to find her and that’s harder to do. I thought today our guards did a much better job locating her in our transition game and Mel did the rest.”
On the Negatives/Positives of the game:
“I think the negatives were some lapses on defense, which allowed them to hit a lot of open shots. I think we did a really good job pushing the ball, getting steals, and putting pressure on them on defense.”
Was this game perfect to get the offense rolling?
“Yes, it definitely was. I think it all started from the steals we got on defense and pushing the ball after we got rebounds. I think we scored a lot easier in transition tonight.”
On her open shot and tempo of the games:
“Ketia and Renee did a great job finding me. I think we had a really good rhythm tonight. Sometimes we do get to fast, but tonight I think we all played off of each other.”
What was the key tonight? Why were you able to play so well?
“We wanted to come out and have that drive and do everything possible to make sure that when we face better opponents the outcome will be different”
On Tina Charles:
“Whenever she plays like that she does so much and just her presence helps the team. We know she is not going to make every shot but just her going in and being aggressive helps.”
On playing Connecticut following the loss to Tennessee:
“It would be difficult to play Connecticut any time. They’re just an outstanding team. Especially up here. Obviously coming off the loss to Tennessee they probably have more of a purpose to make sure they have things pretty tight after a loss. Are they going to be a little heightened? Probably. But they’re just really good. They’re going to have an outstanding year, we just have to let this one go and go get the next game.”