For 15 minutes tonight, it looked as though the gap between the No. 1/1 UConn Huskies women’s basketball team and the rest of college basketball might get narrowed a little bit by the No. 6/10 Louisville Cardinals. Then the Huskies turned up their defensive pressure and their execution on the offensive end.
The end result was a 93-65 win by the Huskies in front of 9,428 at Gampel Pavilion and a nationally televised audience on ESPN2.
The win for the Huskies improves their record to 20-0 (6-0 Big East) while Louisville suffers just their second loss of the season (19-2, 6-1).
Louisville was leading 32-31 with 4:56 left in the first half, the Huskies went on a 14-0 run to end the first half to take control of the game.
The Cardinals tried to come back early on in the second half when they cut UConn’s 13-point lead to 9. Any chance of a Louisville comeback was put to rest when the Huskies put together a 16-0 run to take a 61-36 lead. Louisville wouldn’t get any closer than 22 points the rest of the way.
Maya Moore picked up the 21st double-double of her career with 27 points and 11 rebounds to go with 4 assists and 3 steals. Freshman Tiffany Hayes had her best game of the season so far with a career-high 23 points while Tina Charles added a double-double of her own with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kalana Greene added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists with Renee Montgomery chipping in with 11 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. Lorin Dixon added 5 assists.
Besides All-American Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham, the Cardinals virtually had no other offense. McCoughtry had 24 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocked shots while Bingham had 17 points and 6 rebounds.
So how did UConn take control of the game. Well as Geno Auriemma said in the postgame show that his team stopped turning the ball over. Plus Louisville was playing a a triangle-and-2 leaving leaving Hayes and Greene open.
If you’re going to leave anyone open on UConn, you have to hope they aren’t going to make their shots. And that wasn’t the case for Louisville as Hayes was 6-of-1o from 3-point land and Greene was 6-of-11 from the floor.
Next up for the UConn women is a trip to President Barack Obama land when they will take on the Georgetown Hoyas Saturday afternoon at 3 PM. The game will be televised locally on CPTV.
Geno’s postgame interview with Rebecca Lobo and some notes after the jump.
Notes and musings:
The starters were Lorin Dixon, Renee Montgomery, Kalana Greene, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.
A moment of silence was held before the game to honor the late great Kay Yow.
Maya Moore received a commemorative ball before the game to celebrate her 1,000th point.
This was the 9th time UConn had 5 players score in double figures this season.
The Huskies shot 53.7% (36-67) from the floor while Louisville shot 41.1% (23-56).
UConn had 27 assists on their 36 made baskets.
The Huskies were 12-of-26 (46.2%) from 3-point land and 9-of-15 (60.0%) from the charity stripe.
UConn turned 23 Louisville turnovers into 21 points while committing 17 of their own.
The Huskies won the battle of the boards 39-31.