UConn starts fast, shuts down Colorado State in win

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- UConn held a ceremony Thursday night to honor the players that made it a dynasty, after a game that showed the program is still among the nation's elite.

Renee Montgomery and Mel Thomas each had 19 points and the sixth-ranked Huskies routed Colorado State 93-58.

UConn (8-0) opened the game with a 16-3 run and never trailed. All five Huskies starters scored in double figures, four of them by halftime.

Kalana Greene scored 17 points, Tina Charles added 15 and Charde Houston had 10.

"It was a great opportunity for all of us to get to play in front of [the former players] and to show them that all the hard work they put in is transforming into what is happening today," Thomas said.

What happened was another blowout -- and the Huskies' 189th consecutive home win against an unranked opponent.

The Rams' only points in the first half came on seven 3-point shots and six free throws. Kelly Jo Mullany hit her first four 3-pointers but had to sit out much of the half with three fouls. She ended up 4-of-6 from 3-point range and led the Rams with 18 points.

Colorado State was 7-for-13 from behind the arc in the first half but hit just 3-of-11 after intermission.

"We said that if we saw an open shot we were going to take it, because we didn't know how many open looks we were going to get against such a big, athletic team," said Mullany. "We took them and they fell for us tonight, at least at the beginning."

Raysha Ritter broke the 3-point string when she hit a free throw with 2:55 left in the half to make it 48-22, and the Huskies went into the intermission up 55-27.

UConn opened the second half by outscoring the Rams 24-11, and when Montgomery made a steal and a layup with 10:47 left, the Huskies led 79-38.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Colorado State.

After the game, UConn held a ceremony honoring it's 10 first-team All-Americans from the past with a display on the wall of Gampel Pavilion.

WNBA stars Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi flew in from Russia, where they are playing this winter. They joined Kerry Bascom, Rebecca Lobo, Jen Rizzotti, Nykesha Sales, Kara Wolters, Shea Ralph, Svetlana Abrosimova and Swin Cash in being inducted as "Huskies of Honor."

Bird and Taurasi said making the 10-hour flight was a "no-brainer."

"It's kind of honoring the whole program from the get-go," Taurasi said. "It kind of just tells the story of Connecticut for the fans and just to be a part of it, to know you had a little bit of a part of it and being recognized for it is definitely special."

All but Ralph and Abrosimova were on hand for the ceremony.

Bascom, who led the team to its first Final Four in 1991, said it's been amazing to watch the program grow from a team that played in front of 200 people into a dynasty with five national titles.

"We played in the fieldhouse," Bascom said. "I don't think these players can ever truly know what they came from, but Coach has done a great job making them aware of the past."

Thomas said the next wall panel she wants to help unveil is one commemorating another NCAA title.

"That's what really matters," she said. "That's what I would really like to see."