Connecticut Huskies are the NCAA women's basketball team of the week
For most teams a 3-0 week is noteworthy. For the top-ranked University of Connecticut Huskies, it’s business as usual. Behind senior All-American Breanna Stewart, UConn (23-0) capped the week by winning its 60th straight game, a 66-54 statement road win over No. 2 and previously undefeated South Carolina.
UConn had opened the week with a 96-38 win at Tulane as Stewart made her first seven shots in a 20-point performance. In doing so she moved into second in career scoring at UConn with 2,351 points, five points ahead of Tina Charles, but still 685 points behind Maya Moore. The Huskies were buoyed by the return to the lineup of 6-2 junior forward Morgan Tuck, who averages nearly 15 points, who finished with 11 in 16 minutes after missing the previous four games with right knee soreness.
Next the Huskies improved to 12-0 in American Athletic Conference play following a 92-46 home win over East Carolina on Saturday. Kia Nurse scored a season-high 20 points to lead the way. Stewart added 17 points and 10 rebounds and during the game joined Moore as the only Huskies with at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 assists, 200 steals and 200 blocked shots and is just the seventh woman in Division I to accomplish that feat. The Huskies also improved to 54-0 in the history of the American Athletic, including a 48-0 mark in the regular season.
Against South Carolina (22-1), Stewart had 25 points and 10 rebounds to again lead the way, while Tuck had 16 points, and Moriah Jefferson 12 for UConn. The Huskies convincing victory ended South Carolina's 45-game home victory string, and upped their record to 19-3 in No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdowns. UConn is now 51-10 against teams ranked in the top 10 since the start of the 2008-09 season.
The current 60-game winning streak is the third longest in NCAA women’s basketball history, with UConn chasing its own records. UConn won 90 consecutive games between 2008 and 2010, before losing to Stanford on Dec. 30, 2010. They also posted 70 wins in a row from 2001 to 2003.
UConn, which led the nation in field goal percentage last season en route to its third straight national championship, is again leading the nation, shooting 53.20 percent from the floor. Even more unfathomable is that UConn has the most improved field goal percentage in the country, improving 9.34% this season.
The Huskies will go for a 61st straight victory this Sunday, Feb. 14 at Temple.
Honorable mention teams of the week: Albany, BYU, Colorado State, Notre Dame, UC Riverside and UTEP.