7:00 PM ET, February 20, 2008
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut's Maya Moore may be just a freshman, but Marquette coach Terri Mitchell is among those who believe she should be considered for national player of the year.Moore tied her season high with 31 points and moved into second place on the school's freshman scoring list, as top-ranked UConn (25-1, 12-1 Big East), ran away from Mitchell's Golden Eagles 95-63 on Wednesday night.Moore hit her first nine shots and had 25 first-half points as the Huskies built a 60-22 lead at intermission.It was the third time in the past four games that Moore has outscored the other team in the first half. She left the game with just over 11 minutes left and UConn up 83-45. The freshman hit 11 of her 15 shots and was 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. She had nine rebounds and three blocked shots."I look at what she did against us tonight and every game I've watched and I will never look at age when voting," Mitchell said. "I will only look at the impact a player has made, and she has made a tremendous impact."UConn center Tina Charles also tied a season high with 23 points to go with 10 rebounds, her 13th double-double this season. Renee Montgomery added 16 for UConn. Ketia Swanier, making just her second start of the season, chipped in with eight points and nine assists, seven in the first half."[Ketia] got us into some great situations, and she got us there very quickly," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "She made it easy for some of these guys, all they had to do was catch the ball and lay it up."Angel Robinson led Marquette (14-12, 6-7) with 22 points. Krystal Ellis, who came in averaging 19 points, had just 11, all but two in the second half. She missed her first five shots and was 4-for-14 from the floor, 1-for-5 from 3-point range."Sometimes a player can want something so much that they play the opposite way," Mitchell said. "Obviously I give UConn's defense so much credit, but I think she wanted it and she was putting up some shots off balance. She didn't let the game come to her and it just multiplied."Connecticut spent much of the game in a zone defense, something they have been going to more often since losing starters Kalana Greene and Mel Thomas to season-ending injuries. The Huskies held Marquette to 30 percent shooting."When we're on, and everybody is aware of where everyone is on the court, I think it is a tough defense to beat," Moore said. "And when we rebound and run, like Coach says, that's just where we like it -- in transition."Connecticut opened with a 16-4 run, led by seven early points from Moore, and a no-look pass from Swanier to Charles gave the Huskies a 22-7 lead five minutes into the game.The Huskies hit 18 of their first 23 shots and used an 18-0 run to make it 42-11. Ellis ended the streak with a layup, her first points of the game.But Moore scored the next eight points, part of a 10-0 run. The Huskies shot almost 70 percent from the field in the first half, while holding Marquette to 27 percent. The 60 points were the most UConn has scored in a half in 253 games, since putting up 65 in a second half against St. John's in 2001."I thought the first half was full of good play after good play, after good play," Auriemma said. "I thought we played with a lot of energy and purpose. We knew what we were doing. We knew what we were trying to do and we were on time with everything we were doing."Moore came into the game ranked fourth among UConn freshman with 438 points. She passed Tamika Williams (444) less than three minutes in with a 3-pointer, and passed Charles (456) with 5:06 left in the first half with another 3. Svetlana Abrosimova (1997-98) holds the UConn freshman scoring record at 538 points.Moore said she's not concerned with her statistics and can't control whether she wins any postseason awards."I can control what I do for my team, and how my team does," she said. "That's going to be my focus, always is doing what I need to do to make sure this team gets done everything that it needs to."UConn has won 15 conference games in a row at home and is 7-0 in Hartford this season. The victory also gives UConn 210 wins in a row over non-ranked opponents at home.UConn's Charde Houston went to the locker room with 10:50 left after getting hit in the face by the basketball underneath the Marquette basket and biting through her upper lip.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-73 (.301)||36-66 (.545)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-22 (.318)||8-18 (.444)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-14 (.857)||15-26 (.577)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||16 (0/0)|