Montgomery's 28 points help UConn improve to 20-1 vs. WVU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Renee Montgomery didn't disappoint the dozens of friends and family members in attendance at a rare appearance in her home state.

Montgomery scored 28 points and top-ranked Connecticut never trailed in beating West Virginia 85-55 Saturday night.

Connecticut (15-0, 2-0 Big East) improved to 20-1 against the Mountaineers. The Huskies have won every game this season by double digits.

Montgomery won three West Virginia state championships at South Charleston and Capital high schools when she was a teammate of former Tennessee star Alexis Hornbuckle.

A busload of about 60 relatives and friends drove about three hours to see Montgomery, who nearly matched her career high of 30 points scored against Oklahoma on Nov. 30.

"It meant a lot because a lot of the people that were here tonight don't get to see me play in person," said Montgomery, who made four 3-pointers and went 9-of-17 from the floor. "I got a lot of opens looks, took my time and shot them."

Montgomery's only previous appearance in Morgantown in college came two years ago, when she scored seven points in a blowout win.

She has made 114 consecutive starts and on Saturday moved past Swin Cash into 10th place in career scoring at Connecticut with 1,603 points. She also ranks in the top 10 in school history in steals and assists.

"Her confidence level has been since her freshman year -- and is now -- so high," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "She's become as good a guard as I've had. She's doing incredible things right now."

West Virginia (10-5, 0-3) entered the game with one of the top defenses in the nation, allowing just 52 points per game. But Connecticut almost had that by halftime, when it led 47-30.

Takisha Granberry scored 17 points, Liz Repella had 15 and Sarah Miles added 14 for West Virginia, which now has three straight losses.

"There are no moral victories for me. We either win or we lose," West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. "I am so sick and tired of what is going on. I don't care if we got beat by one or 30."

Maya Moore had 16 points and 10 points while Tiffany Hayes added 10 points for Connecticut, which had little trouble on an early conference road trip.

The Huskies held South Florida, then the nation's highest-scoring team, to 24.6 percent shooting in a 46-point win on Tuesday and never trailed against the Mountaineers. West Virginia couldn't cut into a 17-point halftime deficit in suffering its fourth straight double-digit loss to Connecticut.

West Virginia shot 30 percent (10-of-33) in the second half and 36 percent overall. Granberry, Repella and Miles combined to shoot 18-of-47 from the floor.

"We knew this team was going to be scrappy and we didn't want their key players to get the shots that they wanted to get," Montgomery said.

The Huskies shot 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the floor and outscored West Virginia 18-2 at the free-throw line.

West Virginia went more than six minutes between baskets midway through the second half and Connecticut put the game away with a 12-0 run, including eight points on free throws, that pushed the lead to 68-41 with 8:28 remaining.

"We just got outhustled," Granberry said. "I hate to say this, but it felt like they wanted it more."

UConn scored the first seven points of the game and made nine of its first 11 shots. Montgomery had 11 points early, including a 3-pointer for a 23-8 lead with 13:49 left until halftime.

"The game was kind of back and forth. Their small lineup gave our big guys some problems," said Auriemma, who improved to 20-0 against the Mountaineers.

Connecticut, one of four unbeatens left in Division I basketball, has won 101 consecutive games against non-ranked opponents since a loss at Arizona State in December 2004.