HARTFORD, Conn. (March 8, 2005) - Junior guard Ann Strother (Castle Rock, Colo.) had a game-high 20 points while the Tournaments Most Outstanding Player Barbara Turner (Cleveland, Ohio) had 13 points to lead the No. 3 seed University of Connecticut womens basketball team to a 67-51 over No. 1 seed Rutgers in the championship game of the 2005 BIG EAST Womens Basketball Tournament.
The tournament title marks the 12th for UConn in the programs history and its first since 2002. UConn now has a 12-3 record in BIG EAST tournament finals and a 5-0 record against Rutgers in BIG EAST tournament play.
UConn improves to 23-7 overall and earns the BIG EASTs automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. The Huskies have won 15 of their last 18 games. Rutgers, who captured the leagues regular-season title, drops to 25-6.
Turner tallied in double-figure points in al three UConn tournament wins and averaged 15.6 points per game en route to being named the tournaments most outstanding player.
Strothers 20 points marked her highest single-game scoring effort in a BIG EAST Tournament game.
Strother earned a spot on the All-Tournament team and was joined by UConn senior Jessica Moore (Palmer, Alaska) on the squad. Moore scored 12 points in the final while Strother hit on three 3-point field goals in the game and also was 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Cappie Pondexter and Matee Ajavon of Rutgers and Megan Duffy of Notre Dame rounded out the all-tournament selections.
Ajavon paced Rutgers in the loss with 20 points, while Pondexter came off the bench to add 19.
UConn never trailed in the game and after opening the contest with a 7-0 run. The Huskies opened up their first double-digit lead at 15-5 as Moore connected on a pair of free throws with 13:53 to go.
The Huskies never trailed and led by as much as 21 points when it held a 26-5 advantage with 9:18 remaining in the opening half.
Rutgers would get as close as nine points on a number of occasions the latest 50-41 with 8:33 remaining but could get no closer as UConn out-scored the Scarlet Knights 17-10 down the stretch to secure the 16-point victory.
- UConn improves to 18-2 all-time against Rutgers
- The Huskies boast an all-time record of 54-8 all-time at the Hartford Civic Center and posted a 10-2 mark in games at the Hartford Civic Center this season.
- UConn improves to 103-39 vs. ranked team all-time.
- The Huskies are 45-11 all-time in the BIG EAST Tournament.
- UConn has a 23-3 record in BIG EAST tournament games played in Connecticut.
- UConn is 22-1 this season when it holds the opponent to under 60 points.