At the 18:07 mark in the first half, DePaul (13-5, 1-3 BIG EAST) took their only lead of the game at 6-5 but a seven-point effort in a span of three minutes by junior Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) powered the Huskies on a 17-2 run to take a 22-8 lead with 13:50 on the clock.
DePaul’s China Threatt helped the Demons cut the UConn lead to eight with back-to-back three-pointers to make the score 22-14 with 12:21 left in the half but the Huskies used a 58.6% (17-for-29) shooting performance from the floor to take a 15-point advantage at the break at 47-32. Threatt, who entered tonight’s game with just four three-pointers on the year, hit 4-of-5 in the first half to keep the Demons in the game.
With the win the Huskies improve to 16-0 overall and 3-0 in BIG EAST play. This is the second straight season and the seventh time since 1994-95 in which the Huskies have begun a season 16-0. It is also the fourth consecutive season and the 13th time in the last 14 seasons that UConn has opened up conference play with a 3-0 showing.
Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led all scorers at the half with 16 points, while shooting 6-for-9 from the field with four rebounds and three assists. The Demons shot 36.7% (11-for-30) in the first half, led by six three-pointers in 14 attempts from three point land.
DePaul’s three-point shooting went cold in the second frame as they shot 1-for-10 from long distance. The Demons were able to keep the game within 25 points as they were able to hold UConn under their season average of 54.3% shooting at 46.7% (28-for-60) for the contest.
The Huskies largest lead of the night came at the 15:03 mark in the second half as a layup by Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) put the Huskies up 63-38. UConn also showed an unselfish effort tonight, recording 19 assists on 28 made baskets.
Freshman Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) had another stellar performance for UConn as she finished the night with 10 points, for her sixth game in double figure scoring this season. She added four steals to the Huskies’ final tally of 12 as UConn averages 8.6 steals per game.
Caroline Doty (Doylestown, Pa.) continued to play well on Alumni Court as she hit 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Her 12 points marks her fifth game in double figure points this season. Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) used 16 points for her 14th game with double-figure points this year while contributing with nine assists on the night.
Tonight also marked the seventh time in 16 games this season that UConn has had five or more players register double-figure points. UConn only had five or more players register double-figure points a total of seven times over 38 games last season.
Moore recorded her seventh double-double of the season and 18th of her career with 18 points and 12 rebounds as she recorded 16 of her points in the first half, while adding three assists, one steal and one blocked shot. Charles’ 11 points marks her 13th game with double-figure points this season and the 64th of her career.
UConn will play host to Syracuse in a Saturday afternoon BIG EAST Conference match-up on Jan. 17 at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Tip is set for 2:00 p.m.
SCOREBOARD 1st 2nd Final DePaul 32 30 62 1/1 Connecticut 47 30 77
- UConn improves to 6-1 all-time vs. DePaul and has won each of the last six meetings.
- Tonight’s game marked UConn’s first at Gampel Pavilion since Dec. 3.
- UConn extends its regular-season winning streak to 32 games.
- UConn opens a season 16-0 for the second straight season and the seventh time since 1994-95.
- UConn opens BIG EAST play 3-0 for the fourth consecutive season and the 13th time in the last 14 seasons.
- UConn has won each of its last 24 regular-season games following tonight’s win over DePaul.
- Connecticut has won 118 of its last 126 BIG EAST regular season games.
- UConn moves to 271-11 on its home court(s) since the 1993-94 season.
- UConn improves to 209-11 when playing as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25.
- UConn has won 102 consecutive games against non-ranked opponents.
- UConn has won 220 consecutive games against non-ranked opponents on its home court(s).
- UConn is 140-2 in its last 142 regular-season home games against BIG EAST opponents.
- UConn has posted a mark of 88-2 in its last 90 games played at Gampel Pavilion.
- Connecticut has won each of its last 52 games against BIG EAST opponents other than Rutgers.
- UConn boasts an all-time mark of 212-83 in games played during the month of January and has won each of its last 18 games played during the calendar’s first month.
- UConn has won each of its last 18 BIG EAST Conference home games.
- UConn put together an 11-0 run over 3:13 stretch in the first half.
- Maya Moore’s 18 points marked her 17th straight game with double-figure points and her 52nd in 54 career games.
- UConn posted 10 steals in the first half.
- Tiffany Hayes’ 10 points represented her sixth game with double-figure points this season.
- Tina Charles’ 11 points marks her 13th game with double-figure points this season and the 64th of her career.
-Renee Montgomery’s 16 points marked her 14th game this season with double-figure points and the 87th of her career.
- Tonight marked the seventh time in 16 games this season that UConn has had 5 or more players register double-figure points. UConn only had 5 or more players register double-figure points a total of seven times over 38 games last season.
-Maya Moore’s 18 points and 12 rebounds marked her seventh double-double this season and the 18th of her career.
University of Connecticut
Head Coach Geno
Thoughts on the intense offensive pace the team came out with in the first half
“It’s good and bad. You come out and make a bunch of shots early on and then you get lulled into thinking it’s real easy, that every shot is going to drop and that getting shots is going to be easy. It doesn’t work that way. Some teams will let you do whatever you want to do – DePaul doesn’t do that. They came out of one of the timeouts and then we got stuck on 25 or 26 because defensively, they made some changes, they started becoming a little more physical, a little more aggressive, and I don’t know we responded the way we wanted to. It’s been a long stretch, and it probably caught up to us a little bit.”
Was it good to see Caroline (Doty) step up and make a few of those 3’s during the six-minute scoreless stretch?
“Sometimes you try to figure out why you aren’t scoring. Are you not getting shots, or are you just missing shots. I don’t know how many layups, how many easy shots we missed. Then you look up and you can’t get anything to drop, and you do need someone to step up. That probably meant more to her, and us, than the fact that she hasn’t been making any. You can make a 3 when you are up by a bunch, but to make it when we really need one; I think that’s even more of a confidence builder for her.”
When a player goes through something like that shooting wise, is it a technical flaw?
When shots stop going in, initially they just aren’t going in. Then you start studying why they aren’t going in and that’s when you start to have problems. Then all of the sudden you start changing something here and there, and that’s when you start having problems. It doesn’t start that way…some of it’s physical, some of its mental.”
General impressions of the game:
“I think that it took a little more effort than it usually takes us to get our rhythm. I thought defensively we were probably more proud of ourselves tonight, than offensively. DePaul is a physical team, they are scrappy and they don’t stop playing. I give credit to DePaul for playing hard the whole game.”
On the difference between the first six minutes, to the next six minutes:
“I was proud about the way we started out. We usually come out with a lot of energy and that is what I expect our team to do. But I think DePaul is one of those teams you have to contain and to continue not let up. We are not realizing that with one play, with one defensive mistake with one offensive error. Our momentum can leave quickly and fight to get it back. It is tough, we are realizing that it is tough to maintain that energy level.”
You struggled the past couple games, how was it to go out there a hit some 3’s?
“It felt good; I knew that it was there. Coach pulled me aside yesterday and today to get my head straight to get my shot back to where it was. To hit the first one, continue getting the shots and the opportunities and then making them. It felt great.”
Has it been just a case of staying course the past couple weeks?
“I think that I was thinking too much and I got a little lazy. I have to just keep working hard and I can’t take any days off. I realize that now and I have to just keep working hard.”
The first shot bounced high off the back of the rim and went back in; after that did you feel that your luck was starting to change?
“Yeah, it did bounce pretty high, but I knew that I had to go in for the rebound just in case it missed. It went in and I knew that I was good.”
“They are a really scrappy team, hard working and they were not going to give up. We just had to keep going hard no matter how many of their shots were falling or how physical they were. They are a good team and we had to just keep fighting.”
Head Coach Doug Bruno
“I believe that this is a special UConn team because they share the ball so well and they are number one for a reason. I think their chemistry and cohesion is exceptional. I thought our players were ready to play and competed but as far as our sense of tempo and our understanding of tempo we really just tried to be UConn. We were way too quick and we hurried way too much in the first half. We had 16 first half turnovers, which is way too many. I thought we did continue to compete and we did learn on the fly in the second half stabilizing the game. I didn’t feel like the game was really stabilized in any way, shape or form from our point of view until probably the 11 minute mark of the game. I thought we were able to grow down the stretch and did compete. But again, it is a special UConn team. Natasha (Williams) is having a special senior year. I just can’t say enough to all the different media outlets when we go against good teams about how much she is giving of herself. She’s guarding Renee (Montgomery); she’s guarding Maya (Moore); she’s guarding whoever the best kid on the other team is. That’s what makes UConn great, they don’t have one best kid they have three or four. At the end of the night you look at the box score and we have two players in the 20’s, they have five players in the teens. That’s what makes great basketball teams, great basketball teams.”
You had two time outs in about 35 seconds, each after Maya Moore scored, what caused you to make those time outs?
“This game can get away from you so fast and you can’t let it get away from you. This UConn team is a team of runs. When you watch all the tape of them, they have had a lot of runs this year. Once they start getting on one, it can turn very quickly. I think they led by 21 in the second half and we were able to cut that, if I’m not mistaken, to 13. I am glad that Geno (Auriemma) played his people. They don’t have a really deep bench and it’s almost like you have to play your team. When we played Notre Dame, they played their people. Sometimes fans say why do they have their people in when they are up, their job is to get better just like our job is to get better. I am glad that everyone on the UConn team is playing through the whole game.”