Jan. 3, 2009

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Renee Montgomery scored 21 points and top-ranked Connecticut beat LSU 76-63 Saturday in a matchup of teams that made the Final Four last season.

Maya Moore added 17 points and 13 rebounds for UConn (13-0), and Tina Charles chipped in 16 points and six rebounds. Five Huskies scored in double figures.

Junior guard Allison Hightower led the Tigers with 14 points, her sixth consecutive double-figure game. Lasondra Barrett, one of three freshmen to start for the Tigers, added 13.

UConn returned four starters from a year ago. LSU (6-5) lost five seniors, including All-American Sylvia Fowles, and 85 percent of its offense.

With the score tied at 26, UConn went on a 15-7 run and never trailed again. Moore had 15 of her points in the first half, helping the Huskies overcome a 4-for-16 effort from 3-point range to lead 41-33 at halftime.

The Lady Tigers responded with a 10-4 run to start the second half, cutting the lead to 45-43.

But Montgomery took over from there, scoring 10 points, dishing out three assists and adding a steal during an 18-3 run. The Huskies held LSU without a field goal for 5:30 and built a 63-46 lead.

Montgomery had six assists and joined Diana Taurasi and Jen Rizzotti as the only UConn players to score 1,500 points and dish out 500 assists during their careers.

Hightower fouled out with 6:29 to play and LSU trailing 65-52, and Barrett joined her on the bench two minutes later.

Connecticut has won 99 consecutive games against unranked opponents. This season, the Huskies have won all 13 of their games by double figures, including six wins by 40 points or more.

LSU came in having won five of its last six games.