No. 1 Connecticut Defeats No. 6 Louisville, 93-65
Jan. 26, 2009
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Blowing out top teams is becoming routine for No. 1 Connecticut.
Maya Moore had 27 points and 11 rebounds, freshman Tiffany Hayes added a career-high 23 points, and top-ranked Connecticut routed No. 6 Louisville 93-65 on Monday night to remain unbeaten.
"Just another day in the office," Moore said running into the locker room after the game.
UConn (20-0, 6-0 Big East) has opened with 20 straight wins for the second consecutive season and sixth time since 1994-95. The Huskies have run over their competition this season, winning by an average of 34 points. They beat then-No. 4 Oklahoma in November, dismantled then-No. 2 North Carolina last Monday, and now blown out Louisville.
"We haven't gone in against some of these really good teams and won because the other team played poorly," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We've gone in and played well at both ends of the floor. We're really, good. That's all I can say. I would imagine that there's a couple people out there that are really good as well. You just don't see it right now. But, we're really good."
Led by All-American Angel McCoughtry, the Cardinals (19-2, 6-1) were supposed to give the Huskies a challenge in the Big East. She did all she could with 24 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Cardinals saw their 14-game winning streak come to an end. Louisville was off to its best start in school history.
Louisville tried to slow down Connecticut's offense by employing a triangle-and-two defense that focused on shutting down Moore and Renee Montgomery and daring the other UConn players to beat them.
It seemed to work early on as the other Huskies were tentative to shoot, but then Hayes stepped up and hit six 3-pointers. All Louisville coach Jeff Walz could do was smile as Hayes made shot after shot.
"They are UConn they are No. 1," Candyce Bingham said. "They needed someone to step up and she stepped up."
Bingham's layup with 4:59 left in the first half gave the Cardinals a 32-31 lead. It would be the last points they'd score before the break as UConn closed the period with a 15-0 run to take a 45-32 lead at the half.
"I thought for the first 14 minutes of the game we did a good job of controlling things," Walz said. "We have a couple of slip ups and back-to-back trips and we lose Maya and Renee and they hit two 3s."
Louisville had the first four points of the second half to cut the deficit to nine, but then UConn scored 16 straight points to take a 61-36 lead and put the game away.
Moore, who was given a ball before the game to commemorate her scoring 1,000 points faster than anyone in school history, had eight points during the burst.
The Cardinals would get no closer than 20 the rest of the way.
The win was UConn's 27th straight in the regular season and 34th consecutive victory at home.
Tina Charles added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Kalana Greene had 12 and Montgomery 11 as Connecticut put five players in double figures for the ninth time this season. The Huskies only did it seven times all last season.
"You've got Kalana Greene and Tiffany Hayes shooting the ball well and they are high school all-Americans," Walz said. "Pick your poison."
Connecticut improved to 6-1 against Louisville with the lone loss coming in the opening round of the NCAA tournament in 1993. The Huskies routed the Cardinals in the regular-season meeting last year before only winning by six in the Big East tournament championship game.
Bingham finished with 17 points for Louisville. McCoughtry, who already held the women's scoring record at Louisville, finished four points short of breaking men's great Darryl Griffith's school record of 2,333 points.
Fifth-ranked Auburn (20-0) is the only other undefeated team in women's Division I basketball.