UConn blows out Duke for 57th straight victory

DURHAM, N.C. -- Maya Moore swished one 3-pointer, then another. By the time her shooting flurry was through, top-ranked Connecticut was having an easy time with yet another top 10 challenger -- and there was nothing those noisy Cameron Crazies could say about it.

Moore hit a season-high six 3-pointers, scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half and helped the Huskies claim their 57th straight victory by routing Duke (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) 81-48 on Monday night.

Kalana Greene added 18 points for the Huskies (18-0), who never trailed, shot 53.6 percent, hit 52 percent of their 3s and used a big run early in the second half to snap the Blue Devils' 23-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium in convincing fashion.

"Sometimes, you've just got to keep shooting," said Moore, who was 1 of 16 on 3s in her previous three games. "We were all saying the games before, we're bound to go off. It's coming, because a few of us had been off for a couple of games. It was bound to happen. I'm just glad it happened tonight."

For the Huskies, who improved to 3-0 at Cameron, the most significant development might have been the way they showed some long-range touch.

They were ranked among the national leaders in nearly every meaningful offensive statistical category except those related to 3-point shooting, making just 32 percent of those shots.

In this one, Moore missed all three shots she attempted inside the arc but made 6 of 9 shots behind it while helping the Huskies match a season high with 13 3s -- including five during the 23-9 burst shortly after halftime that put them well on their way to another blowout.

"Our guard play was great tonight," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "That's how you beat a team that is as athletic and as tough defensively as Duke is. Maya has struggled -- for Maya. [Center Tina Charles] faced a lot of double teams tonight, so they just weren't going to give her any room in the lane.

"That's why we had a lot of opportunities to shoot 3s," he added. "If those don't go in, we don't make those plays on the perimeter, then we're in trouble."

Tiffany Hayes' 3-pointer 47 seconds into the second half started the overwhelming burst, made it 41-30 and pushed the lead into double figures to stay. She and Caroline Doty connected from long range before Moore capped the run by hitting two 3s 39 seconds apart to make it a 20-point lead.

By then, Duke was well on its way to its first home nonconference loss since Tennessee won here in 2007-08, and the only question was whether the Blue Devils were headed for their worst loss at Cameron -- an honor held by Virginia, which beat them by 36 points in 1993. At least they can take solace in this: They kept it closer than archrival North Carolina, which lost to UConn two weeks ago by 41.

"I thought we bugged out of what we needed to do in the second half, in terms of managing the ball, managing the possessions better, and boy, did it show," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.

Jasmine Thomas scored 17 points for Duke (15-3), the only team to play each of the top three in The Associated Press' preseason Top 25. The Blue Devils finished 1-2 against that gauntlet, beating then-No. 3 Ohio State before losing to Stanford and UConn by an average of 24.5 points.

"I'm grateful for the experience and disappointed in the outcome," McCallie said.

Charles had 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Hayes and Doty scored 13 points apiece for the Huskies, who extended the second-longest winning streak in women's basketball history.

They trail only their own NCAA and school-record string of 70 straight set from 2001-03. UConn has been at its best against top 10 teams during the streak, winning its previous 10 matchups by an average of nearly 27 points. They won this one less than 48 hours after beating then-No. 3 Notre Dame by 24 points.

"To be able to overcome all that stuff, that's probably partly the character of players that we recruit," Auriemma said. "Maybe that's what this team is supposed to do. They're supposed to prove themselves over and over and over again. ... What we did Saturday and Monday, with very little turnaround ... it was as good as I've felt in a long time."

This one was business as usual from the opening tip. The Huskies got started in this one with 3-pointers 30 seconds apart from Hayes and Moore, then pushed their lead into double figures with an efficient 17-8 burst in which they came away with points on eight of 11 trips downcourt.

After Doty floated a jumper over 6-foot-4 Krystal Thomas to make it 31-21 with less than 5 minutes left before halftime, the Blue Devils cut their deficit to single digits only once -- on Jasmine Thomas' steal and layup 18 seconds into the second half.