CHICAGO, Ill. (January 28, 2006) - On the strength of a season-high 24 points from senior Barbara Turner (Cleveland, Ohio), No. 5/4 University of Connecticut women's basketball team snapped the nations longest home court winning streak at 33 games with a 84-75 victory over No. 12/11 DePaul in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,012 in the DePaul Athletic Center.
With their seventh-consecutive victory, UConn's longest of the season, the Huskies are now 19-2 overall and remain undefeated in BIG EAST play with an 8-0 conference mark. The Blue Demons have a record of 18-3 overall and 5-3 in their first season in the BIG EAST.
In addition to leading the team in scoring, Turner also had a team-high five assists and eight rebounds in the UConn victory. With her 24 points, the senior vaulted up three spots on the UConn all-time scoring list and is now tied for 17th with Leigh Curl with 1,388 points for her career. Tonight's game marked the ninth time this season that Turner had scored in double figures and the 71st time in her career.
The two teams traded points back and forth throughout the early moments of the game, even as UConn out-rebounded DePaul 6-2 in the first four minutes of play. The Blue Demons went on a 9-2 run to take a four point lead at 20-16 halfway through the first half and would increase their lead to 27-21 on the strength of Kahara Smith's 2,000th point with 6:53 remaining.
However, DePaul would score just two more points before the break as UConn went on a 17-2 run in the next 6:42 to close out the half with the 38-29 lead. Three Huskies scored in that span, with Turner picking up six points, fellow senior Ann Strother (Castle Rock, Colo.) had five points and freshman Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) added six points.
Despite being down to open the second half, the Blue Demons scored nine unanswered points to knot the score at 38-38 with 17:25 left to play. The Huskies came back to retain the lead at 49-46 before Turner tallied her 20th point of the game to give UConn the 60-58 lead at the 9:53 mark, a lead that Connecticut would not relinquish. For the game, UConn was 31-58 from the floor on 53.4% shooting.
Joining Turner in double figures for the game was Strother with 18 points. She now has 1,510 points for her career, good for 12th on the all-time list. In addition to those 18 points, Strother pulled down six rebounds and dished out three assists.
Montgomery also scored in double figures with 13 points and sophomore Charde Houston (San Diego, Calif.) was the fourth Husky with a double-digit scoring effort after tallying 16 points. Montgomery also dished out two assists and tied for a team-high with three steals. Sophomore Mel Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio) was a thorn in the Blue Devils sides defensively, also grabbing three steals in addition to pulling down seven rebounds, tying her career-high.
DePaul was led by Smith with 24 points. She also had 12 rebounds while dishing out four assists. Jenna Rubino scored 14 for the Blue Demons and both Allie Quigley and Caprice Smith had 10 points in the game.
The Huskies are next in action on Tuesday, Jan. 31 when they wrap up their two game road trip at Louisville at 7:30 p.m. The game can be seen live on CPTV and CSTV.
Photos courtesy of the Associated Press