POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2010
HARTFORD, Conn. » Men's teams. Women's teams. No. 89 belongs to UConn. It beats them all.
The No. 1-ranked Huskies women's basketball team topped the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden's UCLA men's team from 1971 to '74, beating No. 22 Florida State 93-62 yesterday. Playing with the relentlessness that has become its trademark, Connecticut blew past the Seminoles as it has so many other teams in the last 2 1/2 years.
"I don't want my team to compare themselves to anyone," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said afterward. "I'm not John Wooden and this isn't UCLA. This is Connecticut and that's good enough."
Maya Moore had a career-high 41 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Bria Hartley added 21 points for the Huskies, who have not lost since April 6, 2008, in the NCAA tournament semifinals. Only twice during the record run has a team come within single digits of UConn -- Stanford in the NCAA championship game last season and Baylor in early November.
When the final buzzer sounded, UConn players sprinted across the floor to shake hands with the student section as fans held up "89" signs and "89" balloons bobbed in the stands behind center court.
After a brief huddle in front of their bench, UConn players reemerged wearing "89 and Counting" T-shirts. As fans roared, the players bounced around the court before posing for photos.
It's one more chapter of history for UConn, and perhaps the grandest.
"It's pretty amazing. It really is," Auriemma said.
Asked what he would recall from the incredible run, he mentioned a pair of experienced stars on this team: "I'll probably remember Maya Moore and Tiffany Hayes. And how incredibly difficult it is to play that many games in a row and win 'em all."