3:45 PM ET, February 15, 2009
STORRS, Conn. -- It was a special day for Renee Montgomery.Montgomery became the first active player in UConn history to have her jersey put up in the Huskies of Honor and she scored 20 points to help the top-ranked Huskies beat Pittsburgh (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) 95-42 on Sunday."It was perfect she had no idea this was coming," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.Her No. 20 is now alongside such greats as Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Jennifer Rizzotti. Montgomery's only the 11th player to receive the honor."Now every day when I go out to practice I'll see it up there," said Montgomery, who was holding her 3-year-old niece Shayla during the postgame news conference. "It gives you motivation that you have accomplished things. It's a tremendous honor. It's the best honor you can receive."Montgomery was completely surprised when she was honored before the game. She was mobbed by her teammates and was beaming as her parents, who had flown in from West Virginia, came out to midcourt to celebrate along with the nearly 10,000 fans in attendance.After the game Montgomery took the microphone and thanked the fans for their support.Montgomery is the third player in UConn history to have 1,500 points and 500 assists in her career. She's only 239 points short of becoming the sixth player at UConn to reach 2,000."I know when I ask her something it gets done," Auriemma said. "She's unique. Not going to see anyone like her for a while here. She's something different, something special."Montgomery has been a huge reason that UConn has gotten off to its best start since winning the first 31 games of 2002-03. The Huskies have won 33 straight regular-season games and are the only unbeaten team in Division I.Connecticut scored the game's first seven points before Shayla Scott hit a 3-pointer for Pitt. UConn then went on a 15-0 run that included five points by Montgomery to build a 22-3 lead just 5 minutes into the game."The way we played today it would have been hard for anyone to beat us," Auriemma said. "We played really, really well today."Shavonte Zellous scored 16 points to lead the Panthers (18-5, 8-3), who never recovered and could only get within 16 points the rest of the game.Maya Moore added her 14th double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Huskies, while Tina Charles had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Kalana Greene had 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was second time Connecticut had three players with double-doubles. Tiffany Hayes scored 15 points, marking the 11th time this season UConn has had five players score in double figures."Five people in double figures. Three people in double-digit rebounding. Fifty-five to 37 on the rebounds," Pittsburgh coach Agnus Berenato said. "They attacked, they were aggressive."Pitt hasn't beaten Connecticut in the last 24 meetings. The Panthers last topped the Huskies 76-74 on Feb. 24, 1993. Pitt ended a 13-game losing streak to Rutgers in its last game on Tuesday night, winning 61-53 in overtime.The Panthers were out of this game quickly, unable to contain the Huskies. They didn't score consecutive baskets until nearly 12 minutes had gone by in the first half. Pitt's mini 7-0 spurt cut the deficit to 28-12, but Moore quickly answered with a 3-pointer and Connecticut was off and running again."I felt we had a great game plan," Berenato said. "I felt like we had nothing to lose. They took it to us in the first four minutes of the game. It was 18 points and I had used two timeouts. That's what they do to you."UConn led 47-21 at halftime and saw its lead balloon to 53 points in the second half. It wasn't even Pitt's worst loss to UConn, the Huskies beat the Panthers 112-43 in 2002."I think we hurt the game today because we didn't compete with UConn," Berenato said.The Huskies, including the coaching staff, wore pink sneakers in honor of breast cancer awareness and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. UConn's uniforms had a special pink trim while Pittsburgh wore completely pink uniforms.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||17-68 (.250)||30-65 (.462)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-19 (.105)||8-19 (.421)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-10 (.600)||27-31 (.871)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|