Houston's double-double keeps UConn perfect in league

STORRS, Conn. -- Rutgers came into Connecticut hoping to get back into the race for a third consecutive Big East title.

The Scarlet Knights (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP) left with a loss and the Huskies (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 5 AP) still unbeaten in the conference.

Charde Houston scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Connecticut to a 60-50 win over Rutgers on Tuesday night.

Kalana Greene and Tina Charles each added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut (21-2, 11-0 Big East).

"We understood what our job was going in, and we rebounded, we stole the ball, and we scored it," said Houston. "We approached it like there was a lot riding on it, but at the same time, we were not tentative."

It was the first time since 1994 that three Huskies reached double figures in points and rebounds in the same game.

"I liked the way those guys were playing together," said coach Geno Auriemma. They showed an unbelievable amount of aggressiveness and toughness during the game. Our defense was unbelievable."

Greene scored six points during a 10-0 run that opened the second half and gave the Huskies a 40-23 lead. UConn held Rutgers without a field goal after the break until Essence Carson hit a shot with 14:11 to go.

Kia Vaughn led the Scarlet Knights (14-7, 7-3) with 16 points. Rutgers' freshman star Epiphanny Prince, who averages almost 15 points per game, was held without a field goal until 11:55 left in the game. She finished with 11. Her basket with 2:44 left cut the UConn lead to nine at 53-44, but that was as close as Rutgers would get.

"We got ourselves too far into a hole," said Essence Carson, who finished with eight points and nine rebounds. "We just gave this one away."

Both teams started the game tight. UConn hit just one of its first nine shots, and Rutgers was 1-of-7.

But the Huskies had five early offensive rebounds and jumped out to a 10-3 lead just over six minutes into the game.

"We found ourselves fighting each other for rebounds, and I think that's what we need to do every night," said Greene.

Charles had four blocks in the first 10 minutes, and finished with six.

UConn used a 12-2 run to stretch the lead to 16, at 26-10 with 4:47 to go in the first half, But Rutgers responded with an 8-0 run of its own.

UConn led 30-23 at the break.

Rutgers had the upper hand in the rivalry recently, winning the past two games between the schools and three of the last four. The Scarlet Knights also had won the last two Big East regular-season championships, after Connecticut had claimed the previous 11.

The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Scarlet Knights, who had won nine of their last 10.

"This is a huge disappointment," said Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer. "In my heart I really believed that we had weathered all storms and tests."

The loss put Rutgers into third-place tie with South Florida in the conference, a half game behind Louisville.

UConn center Brittany Hunter, who has been battling problems with her surgically repaired right knee all season, did not dress for the game.

UConn is now 108-48 all-time against ranked opponents.