2:00 PM ET, February 9, 2008
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) -- After a rare loss, top-ranked Connecticut showed why its still one of the best teams in the country.Maya Moore had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and the Huskies routed Seton Hall 82-36 to bounce back from their first loss of the season.Moore, coming off her seventh Big East Freshman of the Week award, moved into fifth place on the all-time freshman scoring list with 399 points, passing Nykesha Sales. The victory moved the Huskies into a first-place tie with Rutgers in the conference.On Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights snapped the Huskies (21-1, 9-1) 34-game regular-season winning streak, a loss that likely will drop Connecticut from the top spot in the polls this week."When you win 21 in a row it has a different impact," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "You sit in the locker room, you don't know how to act. You don't know what to say. You're not sure what the right response is because its something that hasn't happened for three months."Auriemma has changed his attitude after losses from seven, 10 years ago, when he had more experienced teams."I don't think these guys are used to dealing with that kind of pressure, of what it means to go through a whole season as No. 1 in the country or undefeated," he said. "Killing them after a loss would have been counterproductive."Tina Charles added 18 points and six rebounds, while Renee Montgomery hit three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points and five assists for UConn, which led by as many as 48 points."Each team has to deal with Connecticut being the target, and with the target comes tremendous amount of responsibility," Auriemma said."As soon as you lose, it's the biggest story. You have coaches calling the winning coach and congratulating them for beating us," he added. "I'm not sure that everybody does that after every [loss] but that's what it means to beat Connecticut. Everybody likes to see Goliath be brought down or knocked down a peg or two."Not Saturday. Moore, a 6-foot guard, was a big reason why.She had a double-double by halftime, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. She had two steals and a gliding block where she jumped on to a media table, saving the ball for an assist -- to highlight a rousing final 10 minutes before intermission."I think we're at our best, and most fun to watch, when were running, making aggressive plays, a lot of energy. That's my favorite style. That's why I came here," said Moore, who's scored in double figures in all 23 games this season.And about her emphatic block?"I'm just glad that the table moved, because I was going pretty fast that way," she said. "I just tried to throw it up and stay in bounds. And [Ketia Swanier] grabbed it and went we just started rolling."The Pirates were trailing by just four (15-11) early in the half until Moore made a jumper to finish an 18-4 flurry and give the Huskies a 33-15 lead. Then, after a hard foul to senior starter Brittany Hunter (who left the game with a head injury), UConn went on a 31-8 run to virtually seal the game.Ebonie Williams was the only Seton Hall player in double figure scoring with 11.UConn forced 26 turnovers, converting them into 36 points, and defeated the Pirates following a loss for the third straight year.The Huskies held the Pirates to 23 percent (6-of-26) shooting and scored 21 points off 16 forced turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Montgomery (nine points) and Charles (eight) keyed the Huskies offense along with Moore.A loss is definitely not going to break us, Charles said.Seton Hall scored the game's first basket but the Huskies quickly answered with a 7-0 run, including one of Moore's four 3-pointers.We tried to take it out on the other team, Montgomery said.The Huskies dominated the paint, outscoring Seton Hall 34-4. But Seton Hall won on the boards, 39-34.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||29-57 (.509)||12-54 (.222)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-21 (.381)||4-15 (.267)|
|FT Made-Attempted||16-21 (.762)||8-12 (.667)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||12 (0/0)||21 (0/0)|