Syracuse 41

(22-10, 7-9 Big East)

(1) Connecticut 77

(31-0, 16-0 Big East)

    2:00 PM ET, March 7, 2010

    1 2 T
    SYR 17 2441
    #1CONN 44 3377

    Top Performers

    Syracuse: K. Alexander 11 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Connecticut: T. Charles 34 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    Charles scores 34, Moore has double-double as Huskies win 70th straight

    Associated Press

    HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said he'd be excited about the team's 70-game winning streak, if that was where the Huskies wanted to stop.

    It's not.

    Voepel: Little drama in No. 70

    For the second time in seven years, UConn has won 70 consecutive games. And though the streak has primarily been drama-free, it's an amazing feat to be celebrated, as Mechelle Voepel notes. Story
    •  Memorable wins in streak
    •  Comparing the streaks

    Tina Charles tied a career high with 34 points and Maya Moore added 16 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to lead top-ranked UConn (31-0) to the 77-41 rout of Syracuse in the Big East quarterfinals on Sunday.

    The win tied the program's own record for the longest winning streak in women's college basketball. Each win has come by at least 10 points and an average of more than 32.

    Auriemma said none of that is important as the Huskies chase a 16th conference tournament title and a seventh national championship.

    "Let's say we win tomorrow and lost Tuesday, what are the kids going to do, go to half court and put their fingers up and say, 'We won 70, 71?'" Auriemma said.

    UConn is in the conference semifinals for the 22nd straight year, where the Huskies will face Notre Dame. The Irish beat St. John's 75-67 in Sunday's first quarterfinal.

    Kayla Alexander scored 11 to lead the Orange (22-10).

    Championship Week coverage

    Will your favorite team make the Big Dance? Who's in NCAA women's tournament? Check here. Tournament bids
    • coverage

    The 36-point margin of victory was the largest for UConn since it beat Louisville by 46 on Feb. 7. Charles hit 16 of her 19 shots, setting a record for the most field goals in a Big East tournament game. Six of her buckets came on assists from Moore.

    "I think that's always the game plan, to get Tina the ball as much as possible," said Moore. "We always try to look for each other and if I'm out on the perimeter or in the short corner, in the high post, I'm always going to look inside if she's posting up there."

    Moore came into the game needing 13 points to reach 2,000 for her career. She reached that with 18:39 to play on a steal and layup that made it 48-17.

    UConn showed a hint of jitters when Moore opened the game with a shot from the corner that missed everything, but the Huskies then reeled off seven points and went on a 17-2 run over the first 6 minutes, getting six each from Moore and Charles.

    "I think everybody was just anxious to play, but yet patient and just waiting for everything," Charles said. "We had great intensity. We had great energy."

    Living Up To Expectations

    With Sunday's win over Syracuse, No. 1 Connecticut tied its own record of 70 consecutive victories, the most in women's basketball history. But this run has been even more impressive than the first one.

    Longest Win Streaks
    '01-03 UConn '08-10 UConn
    Wins 70 70
    PPG diff +29.9 +32.8
    Wins by 35+ 26 31
    Single-digit wins 6 0

    Syracuse hit just four of its first 20 shots, two of them layups by Alexander, and trailed 31-11 with more than 6 minutes left in the half. During the same period of time, Charles had hit six of her first seven shots.

    The Orange hit just 14 of its 66 shots from the field (21.2 percent) overall, while the Huskies were hitting 51.6 percent of their shots. Syracuse was even worse in the first half, shooting just over 18 percent from the floor.

    The Huskies' winning streak ties one the program set from Nov. 9, 2001, to March 11, 2003, when it lost in the Big East semifinals to Villanova. UConn is 57-12 in conference tournament games, and the Huskies have now won 135 straight against unranked opponents.

    But Auriemma said the team doesn't talk about its streaks. He said that would be like asking a pitcher to discuss a no-hitter while he's in the fifth inning.

    "The object is to win the game and strike out as many guys as you can and get guys to swing at bad pitches and all that other good stuff," he said. "You're not necessarily thinking in the fifth inning, 'I can't give up a hit, because I'm pitching a no-hitter.' Sure as hell, the next guy is going to hit one off the wall."

    Syracuse, the tournament's ninth seed, may have done enough to earn an NCAA berth with wins over West Virginia (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) in its regular-season finale and Providence in the second round of the tournament. That 76-71 victory on Saturday was the first in the Big East tournament for the Orange since 2005.

    "I think that we're a good basketball team and I think we are NCAA talent," said Orange coach Quentin Hillsman. "If they vote us into the tournament, we're going to go and play hard, if not, we're going to go into the NIT and we're going to play hard there."

    The semifinal Monday will be the third meeting this season between the Huskies and Irish. UConn beat Notre Dame by 24 points in each of the other two games.

    Irish coach Muffet McGraw isn't conceding defeat, but acknowledges UConn is a great team.

    "I think as long as they continue to play defense the way they have, they've got a great shot of going undefeated," she said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 41 77
    FG Made-Attempted 14-66 (.212) 33-64 (.516)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-15 (.200) 1-13 (.077)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-18 (.556) 10-19 (.526)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 43

    Game Leaders

    PointsK. Alexander 11T. Charles 34
    ReboundsK. Alexander 7M. Moore 14
    AssistsE. Morrow 2M. Moore 7
    StealsE. Morrow 2M. Moore 5
    BlocksK. Alexander 1T. Charles 5

    2009-10 Season

    Feb 24, 2010 CONN 87, @SYR 66Recap | Box Score
    » Mar 7, 2010 @CONN 77, SYR 41Recap | Box Score