HARTFORD, Conn. (March 10, 2009) - Maya Moore (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was named the BIG EAST Tournament Most Valuable Player as she led the No. 1/1 University of Connecticut women's basketball team to their second consecutive and 15th overall tournament title with a 75-36 victory over No. 5/5 Louisville in Tuesday night's championship game at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
Tonight's victory gives the Huskies a perfect 33-0 record as they pick up their 15th title in 19 BIG EAST Championship game appearances.
This is the 13th time in program history that the Huskies have claimed both the BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament titles in the same season as it is also the second consecutive season in doing so. Louisville falls to 29-4 after the loss.
The Huskies broke open tonight's scoring with an early 9-0 run before Louisville posted their first field goal of the night with a three-pointer by Angel McCoughtry 3:22 into play. But UConn stretched its run to 18-4 in the opening eight minutes of the contest as all five starters put points on the board.
Louisville hit just 2-of-15 from the floor in the first 10 minutes of the contest as UConn held a 16-point advantage before the Cardinals recorded a field goal inside the three-point line.
UConn extended its first half lead to as much as 31 with 2:28 on the clock as Moore continued her offensive dominance, leading the Huskies with 19 points and two blocked shots in the first frame. Junior Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) added 13 in the half with nine rebounds.
The Huskies shot .586 (17-of-29) from the field, including a 5-of-11 showing from behind the arc, to head into the break with a 50-24 lead. The Huskies' 50-point first half were the most they has scored against a BIG EAST opponent this season.
Louisville shot just .250 (7-of-28) in the first frame as the Huskies outrebounded the Cardinals 25-13 en route to the 26-point advantage after 20 minutes played.
UConn came out in the second half and scored the first two baskets before both teams hit a 4:05 scoreless stretch to freeze the score at 55-24 before two Meghan Gardler (Springfield, Pa.) free throws.
The Huskies controlled the tempo of the game with a 15-0 run to begin the second half before Louisville recorded its first point of the half at the 11:57 mark on a Deseree’ Byrd free throw. The Cardinals finally picked up their first field goal of the half with 9:45 left in the regulation.
Moore and Charles dominated the second frame, combining for 17 of the Huskies’ 19 second-half points in the first 12 minutes. With 7:52 remaining in regulation, Moore had 28 points while Louisville, as a team, had a total of 27.
The UConn defense held BIG EAST leading scorer McCoughtry to nine points in the first half and scoreless in the second.
The Cardinals finished the game shooting .211 (12-of-57) as the Huskies shot .460 (23-of-50), while scoring 22 points from the free throw line.
Moore's 28 points marked her 32nd game this season with double-figure points and her 68th in 71 career games. Charles' 21 points marked her 10th straight game with double-figure points and her 28th this season.
Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.) finished the game with seven points and five assists, while Kalana Greene (Saint Stephen, S.C.) and Tiffany Hayes (Lakeland, Fla.) both added six points, respectively. Hayes also pulled down six boards.
After today’s win, UConn improves to 15-2 in BIG EAST Tournament games at the XL Center since the event moved to the facility in 2004. Over that span, the Huskies have garnered four championship titles.
The Huskies' 33-0 start marks their best run to open a season since finishing the 2001-02 campaign a perfect 39-0.
UConn will await its NCAA Tournament seeding on Monday, March 16, while the Huskies are guaranteed to play their first two NCAA Tournament games in Gampel Pavilion. The selection show will be aired at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.
SCOREBOARD 1st 2nd Final 5/5 Louisville 24 12 36 1/1 Connecticut 50 25 75
- UConn claims its 15th BIG EAST Tournament title following tonight’s win over No. 5/5 Louisville.
- UConn claims both the BIG EAST Regular Season and Tournament titles in the same season for the 13th time in the program’s history and the second consecutive season.
- With the win, the Huskies earn an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Tournament – the 21st consecutive NCAA berth for Connecticut.
- UConn moves to 15-4 all-time in BIG EAST Tournament Championship games.
- UConn moves to 3-0 all-time vs. Louisville in BIG EAST Tournament action and 6-1 all-time against the Cardinals.
- UConn has won 15 titles in 18 BIG EAST Championship Game appearances.
- UConn moves to 56-12 all-time in BIG EAST Tournament games and has won 16 of its last 17 overall.
- UConn is 55-6 in BIG EAST Tournament action since 1989.
- UConn moves to 98-11 all-time at the XL Center including a mark of 15-2 in BIG EAST Tournament games played at the facility.
- UConn has won 24 consecutive games played at the XL Center overall.
- UConn moves to 43-4 all-time when entering the BIG EAST Tournament as the No. 1 seed and has collected a total of 12 titles.
- The UConn senior class improves to 133-11 overall and has claimed a total of three BIG EAST regular season and three BIG EAST Tournament titles.
- UConn’s 33-0 start marks its best run to open a season since finishing the 2001-02 campaign a perfect 39-0.
- UConn ups its record to 226-11 when playing as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25.
- UConn moves to 6-0 against ranked opponents this season.
- UConn is 136-53 all-time against ranked opponents and 62-36 against opponents ranked among the top-10 nationally.
- UConn improves to 77-18 in nationally-televised games following tonight’s win over No. 5/5 Louisville.
- UConn opened the game with a 9-0 run over the initial 3:04 which saw four different UConn players score.
- UConn's first five baskets of the game were scored by five different players.
- UConn's defense limited Louisville to just 1-of-12 shooting from the field over the opening eight minutes.
- UConn went on a 15-2 run over a 3:38 span in the first half to increase its lead to 20 points for the first time.
- Maya Moore's 28 points marked her 32nd game this season with double-figure points and her 68th in 71 career games.
- Tina Charles' 21 points marked her 11th consecutive game with double-figure points and her 29th this season.
- UConn has not trailed at the half in 33 games this season.
- UConn shot 17-of-29 (.586) from the field in the first half, while limiting Louisville to a .250 (7-of-28) clip.
- UConn's 50 points in the first half were the most it has scored against a BIG EAST opponent this season.
- UConn held Louisville without a single point in the second half until the 11:57 mark when Louisville made a free throw. - Louisville was held without a field goal on the second half for the opening 10:14 of the second half. - UConn's defense held BIG EAST leading scorer Angel McCoughtry to nine points in the first half and scoreless in the second. - Maya Moore's 28 points marked her 12th game this season with 20 or more points and her 25th this season. - Tina Charles' 21 points marked her seventh game this season with 20 or more points and the 15th of her career.
- Maya Moore's 28 points marked the most by a UConn player in a BIG EAST Tournament game since Shea Ralph posted 30 vs. St. John's on Feb. 28, 1999 in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals. The UConn record for most points in a BIG EAST Tournament game is 32 by Kara Wolters on March 6, 1995 vs. Seton Hall. - With 7:52 remaining in regulation, UConn's Maya Moore had 28 points and Louisville as a team had a total of 27.
- UConn's 39-point margin of victory marked the 19th game this season it has won by a margin of 30 or more points.
- UConn Maya Moore was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 BIG EAST Tournament and was joined by teammates Tina Charles and Kalana Greene.
- UConn held Louisville to a BIG EAST Championship game low of 36 points.