UConn Huskies Winning Streak Reaches 89 Games With 93-62 Win Over FSU

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Maya Moore Leads UConn Women To Record-Setting 89th Win

Connecticut Huskies guard Maya Moore turned in one of the biggest games of her career in one of the biggest games in women’s basketball history. Hitting 15 of her 24 shots from the field plus 10 of 11 free throws, Moore outscored the Florida St. Seminoles two highest scorers combined, finishing with 41.

After the game, UConn players received shirts bearing “89 and Counting.” Huskies coach Geno Auriemma addressed the crowd, saying, “I’m not John Wooden, and this isn’t UCLA. This is Connecticut, and that’s good enough.” He also gave out fabulous prizes to lucky fans.

UConn’s Bria Hartley and Tiffany Hayes scored 21 and 14 respectively, with FSU’s Cierra Bravard and Alexa Deluzio posting 19 and 16. The Huskies dominated the game from start to finish and across the board, as they have in 87 of the 89 games in their win streak.

Connecticut goes for 90 against Pacific on Dec. 28.

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FSU Vs. UConn: Huskies Women's Basketball Well On Its Way To Longest Hoops Winning Streak

With just under nine minutes left, the Connecticut Huskies have a 79-55 lead over the Florida St. Seminoles. A dominant win over a ranked opponent always makes for a successful night, but the Huskies will soon be the owners of the longest winning streak in Division I college basketball history.

Huskies guard Maya Moore has a ruthless 37 points on 13-of-21 shooting, plus a game-high eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and a steal. UConn’s second-highest scorer, Bria Hartley, has 19, three more than any FSU player. Alexa Deluzio leads the Noles. Hartley has hit all five of her three point attempts and seven of eight overall. I said she’s hit all five of her three point attempts.

UConn is shooting 64.3 percent from the floor and 78.3 percent from the line, winning the boards, and getting the calls. They lead in every stat all the way across the box score.

The streak is all but locked up.

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FSU Vs. UConn: Winning Streak Record Seems Likely After Strong Huskies Start

The Connecticut Huskies aren’t taking any chances with the Florida St. Seminoles, holding a 34-23 lead with 7:05 to go in the first half. It was actually a more traditional UConn score just a moment ago, before FSU went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 11. The Huskies have won 86 of their last 88 games by double digits.

Before that run, Huskies guard Maya Moore had as many points as the entire Noles team. She has 15 on four-of-eight shooting from the floor plus six free throws, also grabbing a game-high five rebounds and blocking two shots.

Florida State is shooting 39.1 percent so far, better than the Huskies usually allow. Guard Courtney Ward leads the Noles with eight points. Natasha Howard has contributed four points, three boards, and two blocks.

FSU’s hot streak didn’t last too long — by the time I finished typing this UConn added six more points. Moore poured in two rebounds and four points in that time, in addition to forcing a Seminoles shot-clock violation. Wow, y’all.

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Geno Auriemma Discusses UConn Winning Streak And The Attention It's Attracted

game away from breaking John Wooden's Division I basketball record for consecutive wins, Connecticut Huskies women's coach Geno Auriemma found the time to get everybody stirred up, as he's been known to do. Aureimma charged the media with sexism, claiming women's basketball only gets major coverage in the context of men's basketball:

 

I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman's record. The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everybody is all up in arms about it.

All the women are happy as hell and they can't wait to come in here and ask questions. All the guys that loved women's basketball are all excited, and all the miserable bastards that follow men's basketball and don't want us to break the record are all here because they're pissed. That's just the way it is.    

Because we're breaking a men's record, we've got a lot of people paying attention. If we were breaking a women's record, everybody would go, 'Aren't those girls nice, let's give them two paragraphs in USA Today, give them one line on the bottom of ESPN and then let's send them back where they belong, in the kitchen.

The media responded to media criticism the way it usually does: soberly and with cautious perspective. Our own UConn Blog appreciates Geno being Geno, cataloguing what it sees as his history of making the story about himself rather than his team, relieving his players of attention and pressure. Opposing fans, players, and coaches have been fair game for Auriemma in the past, and he's turned on media members before, too, so taking on the entire institution shouldn't be that much of a surprise.

If it works, it works, though you'd have to wonder how much patience UConn fans would have for this if the Huskies didn't win.

Besides all that, most of his argument is correct, worth discussing but not worth arguing against. The media cares about this winning streak as much as it does because it is likely to end up being longer than a men's record. If a men's team broke a women's record, that would not be a major story.

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No. 22 Florida State Vs. No. 1 UConn: Huskies Can Top John Wooden's Winning Streak Tonight

The Connecticut Huskies 88-game winning streak haven't lost since Aug 6, 2008, against the Stanford Cardinal. With a win tonight over the Florida St. Seminoles, they'll eclipse the 88-game winning streak posted by John Wooden's UCLA Bruins from 1971 to 1974. The mark will be the new Division I basketball record for wins in a row, if they can pull it off.

You'd think this would be cause for universal fanfare, but some, such as CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel, see it as a gloomy sign of the competitive imbalance in women's college hoops. The UConn Blog, our Huskies community, responds to the notion that we should find a reason not to appreciate rare greatness:

If winning 88 straight games was simply a matter of talent disparity, then Tennesse probably would have done it sometime in the 90's. Or aneven more talented UConn team wouldn't have lost after 70 when Diana Taurasi was around. Or that Candace Parker's Tennessee teams would have come close. If it was simply a talent issue, the top teams in women's basketball would be pushing 50-game win streaks all the time. But they don't, they don't even come close.

   Doyel makes the same argument tossed around by SEC football stans [/points at self] about Boise State football, though the obvious counter is that if it's so easy to win against this level of competition, why doesn't everybody do it?

But what about the matchup itself? The only time the Huskies have been tested during a game all season came when they had to rally from eight down to beat Baylor, while FSU's only two losses were to Michigan State and Yale.

The Huskies are more than 10 points better on both offense and defense, rank among the top three in both offensive and defensive shooting percentages, have a towering home court advantage, and are led by Maya Moore, the nation's best player. I've tried to find a major stat at which the Noles have an advantage, and would be delighted if you could point out even a minor stat that favors FSU.

FSU is a good team, but it would take one of the biggest upsets in women's basketball history for Moore and company to not break Wooden's record tonight. 

For more on Huskies sports, join The UConn Blog.

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