9:30 PM ET, January 12, 2011
NEW YORK -- Maya Moore loves every chance she gets to play at Madison Square Garden.The senior All-American had 21 points, eight assists, and six rebounds to help No. 2 Connecticut rout St. John's 84-52 on Wednesday night.It's the second time this season that Moore's had the chance to play at the historic arena. The Huskies beat Ohio State on Dec. 19 for their 88th straight win en route to the NCAA-record 90 in a row they won."I didn't realize that we would get to play here twice," Moore said. "Every time we come here it's a great stage for basketball. You get excited."Moore joked that she'd love another chance to play at the Garden this year. Even though she'll likely be the top pick in the WNBA draft this spring, she'll have to wait at least a few more years to play at MSG again. The Garden is undergoing three years of renovations this summer and the New York Liberty will be playing their home games in New Jersey.The win was the 750th of coach Geno Auriemma's career. He's only lost 123 games in his 26 seasons at UConn (15-1, 5-0 Big East). Four of Auriemma's victories have come at MSG where he hasn't lost."I always look forward to coming here," the Hall of Fame coach said. "You always are excited to be in this building. The lights go on its just different, different than any other place."Trailing 8-6 early on, UConn scored the next 21 points to take command of the game. Stefanie Dolson started the spurt with a layup and Hayes capped it with a 3-pointer that made it 27-8 with 10:38 left in the half.Tiffany Hayes and Samarie Walker had six points during the spurt. Hayes had 21 points in the game and Walker finished with a career-high 15.Eugenia McPherson finally ended the 5-minute scoring drought for St. John's with a layup, but the Red Storm (12-5, 1-3) could only get within 18 the rest of the game.Da'Shena Stevens scored 12 points for St. John's, which has lost four straight games and fell out of the poll for the first time this season Monday. The Red Storm were ranked for 16 straight weeks -- the longest run in school history."You kind of lose confidence," Stevens said. "Coach has been on us that the season's far from over. We can only get better from here."By matching her career high in assists, Moore moved into 10th all-time at UConn -- passing assistant coach Shea Ralph. The senior All-American is already in the Top 10 in most major categories at the school.St. John's had won six of its seven prior appearances at MSG with the only loss coming also to Connecticut in 2007.UConn has won the last 27 meetings between the teams with St. John's last victory coming in 1993.After its early spurt, St. John's didn't get consecutive baskets until 5:20 remained in the half when Stevens and Coco Hart hit back-to-back jumpers that made it 36-18.That's as close as they would get as UConn scored the next nine points to end any thoughts of a rally. Moore had the final five during that spurt, including a 3-pointer from behind the NBA line.UConn led 48-25 at the half, shooting 64 percent (18 for 28) from the field.St. John's couldn't get within 20 in the second half as the Huskies continued their torrid shooting. Connecticut finished the game shooting 57 percent (32 for 56) from the field. The Huskies outrebounded St. John's 41-18 and held them scoreless in transition."Transition is really important for us," St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico said. "That's how we score a lot of our points, steals and deflections. We need to get that going again. We also need to do a better job on the glass than we did tonight."The game was the second half of a doubleheader at MSG. The No. 4 Syracuse Orange men's team beat St. John's 76-59 in the opener.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||32-56 (.571)||18-49 (.367)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-17 (.529)||3-8 (.375)|
|FT Made-Attempted||11-13 (.846)||13-17 (.765)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||11 (0/0)|