(1) Connecticut 65

(19-0, 5-0 Big East)

Cincinnati 34

(13-6, 3-3 Big East)

    7:00 PM ET, January 24, 2009

    1 2 T
    #1CONN 39 2665
    CIN 7 2734

    Top Performers

    Connecticut: M. Moore 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Cincinnati: V. Schuster 11 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Stl

    No. 1 Connecticut has no letdown after routing UNC, taking care of Cincinnati

    Associated Press

    CINCINNATI -- Twenty minutes played, seven points allowed. So much for a UConn letdown.

    Maya Moore scored 18 points on Saturday, and Connecticut's energized defense allowed only seven points in the first half as the top-ranked Huskies stayed perfect with a 65-34 victory over Cincinnati.

    UConn (19-0, 5-0 Big East) provided a fitting encore to its biggest win of the season. The Huskies visited second-ranked North Carolina on Monday and rolled to a 30-point victory, leaving little doubt who's the nation's best at the moment.

    Five days later, the overriding question was whether the Huskies would be still savoring that emphatic win.

    The answer: An emphatic no.

    "That's just something we've been working on: No matter who we're playing against, to have the same amount of intensity, especially at the defensive end," said Renee Montgomery, who had 11 points and three steals. "I'm glad we came out today -- after Monday's game -- and played with intensity."

    All it took was a few minutes for UConn to show that it wasn't going to ease up. The Huskies followed their attention-getting win at Carolina with an attention-grabbing 39-7 first half against Cincinnati (13-6, 3-3), which could barely get off a shot.

    "Our kids couldn't get a good open look," coach J. Kelley Hall said. "I'm giving credit to Connecticut for that. Then it was pass, pass, pass. Nobody wanted to be the one to miss the shot."

    It matched the second-fewest points that the Huskies have allowed in a first half. Providence College scored only six in the first half of UConn's 71-24 win on Feb. 5, 2005, for the school record. Cincinnati was on pace to break the futility mark before Kahla Roudebush hit a 3 with 23 seconds left in the half.

    "They're very fast at closing to the ball," said Cincinnati's Angel Morgan, who had six points. "That's what they're very good at, pressuring you. It seemed like wherever we are, they are. They were getting their hands on everything. It was very surprising. They're quick."

    As time went along and Cincinnati couldn't score, the Huskies seemed to get more revved on defense.

    "I looked up [at the scoreboard] and was just getting excited," Moore said. "It makes us more motivated to continue doing what we're doing."

    Savannah State holds the NCAA record for fewest points in any half, falling behind 54-3 against Florida State on Nov. 23, 2003.

    Tina Charles added 13 points for UConn. Val Schuster had 11 for Cincinnati.

    The first 20 minutes were a blur for the Bearcats, who were 3-for-28 from the field and went nearly 13 minutes without a point. Jill Stephens made their first two baskets, jumpers at 18:08 and 5:18. UConn's quick, aggressive zone had six steals and forced 11 turnovers in the half.

    At one point, Cincinnati was shooting 4.8 percent from the field.

    "There was a stretch where we were shooting off the end of the shot clock for a while," Stephens said. "That's not how you play. They have a lot of ball pressure. We weren't getting the shots we normally do."

    Moore got UConn rolling by scoring 14 of its first 20 points. She had 16 in the half, only three below her season average for a game. Connecticut substituted freely in the second half.

    The win left UConn 19-0 for the second straight season. The Huskies won their first 21 games last season, a streak that ended with a 73-71 loss to Rutgers on Feb. 5. UConn finished 36-2, losing to Stanford in the Final Four. The Huskies have won 27 straight regular-season games since the loss to Rutgers.

    Up next: Louisville (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) on Monday at UConn. Cincinnati was coming off a 66-50 loss at Louisville on Tuesday, giving the Bearcats an insight into how that one might play out. Hall thinks it could be lopsided if UConn handles Louisville's traps and press.

    "If it doesn't slow you down, I think it could get ugly, too," Hall said. "Honestly, I believe that after playing both of them back-to-back. And that's nothing against Louisville -- they're a good basketball team."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 65 34
    FG Made-Attempted 25-57 (.439) 13-55 (.236)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-21 (.381) 6-26 (.231)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-9 (.778) 2-4 (.500)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 8 (0/0) 9 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 38 0

    Game Leaders

    PointsM. Moore 18V. Schuster 11
    ReboundsK. Greene 10A. Morgan 12
    AssistsM. Moore 5K. Roudebush 4
    StealsR. Montgomery 3K. Roudebush 2

    2008-09 Season

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