No. 3 UConn blasts North Carolina
Huskies hand Tar Heels their worst loss in program history
STORRS, Conn. -- Bria Hartley scored 17 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 to help No. 3 Connecticut beat 24th-ranked North Carolina 86-35 on Monday night, handing the Tar Heels the worst loss in school history.
It only took 8 1/2 minutes for the Huskies (15-2) to blow the game wide open. Leading 11-6, UConn scored the next 15 points including five by Mosqueda-Lewis and five by Tiffany Hayes to take command. Hayes' layup with 11:34 left in the half made it 26-6. North Carolina got within 16, but the Huskies used a 16-0 run, that saw six different players score, to put the game away.
It wasn't long ago that North Carolina (12-5) was one of the rare teams to have had success against UConn. The Tar Heels won five of the first seven meetings between the schools, including routing the Huskies 77-54 in Connecticut in 2005.
That has really changed as UConn has had its way with North Carolina lately, winning the last five games by an average of 32 points.
The Tar Heels have struggled lately dropping their last three games, including a surprising loss to Clemson. It's the fourth consecutive year that North Carolina has had a three-game skid. In contrast, UConn hasn't lost consecutive games since 1992-93.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 3 Connecticut 86, No. 24 North Carolina 35|
|No. 8 Maryland 68, Virginia 61|
North Carolina hit a new low against UConn, being embarrassed on national television. The Tar Heels were held to their lowest offensive output ever, easily surpassing the previous record of 44 set in 1987 against N.C. State and equaled in 2000 against Georgia Tech.
The 51-point loss topped the 49-point defeat against Virginia in 1990.
The Tar Heels have been playing short-handed all season. Waltiea Rolle missed the first part of the season after giving birth to a daughter in November. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt was sidelined for the first 13 games after offseason shoulder surgery. She led the team on Monday with nine points.
Laura Broomfield was wearing protective dark goggles after being scratched around the eye against Maryland.
Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell, who is fourth on the career wins list with 871, remained one victory short of 600 with North Carolina.
With the Huskies leading 51-16 at the break, the only suspense left for the second half was whether they would reach the century mark and whether they would have their biggest victory ever against a ranked opponent -- a 53-point win against Pittsburgh in 2009.
UConn could have easily surpassed both milestones but coach Geno Auriemma played his bench liberally in the second half. The only Huskies player who didn't see action was freshman guard Brianna Banks. She suffered a head injury in practice Sunday.