Huskies surpass UCLA men’s record
The No. 1-ranked Huskies women’s basketball team topped the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden’s UCLA men’s team from 1971-74, beating No. 22 Florida State, 93-62, on Tuesday night.
Playing with the relentlessness that has become its trademark—and would have made Wooden proud—Connecticut blew past the Seminoles as it has so many other teams in the last 2˝ years.
“I don’t want my team to compare themselves to anyone,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said afterward. “I’m not John Wooden, and this
isn’t UCLA. This is Connecticut, and that’s good enough.”
Maya Moore had a career-high 41 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Bria Hartley added 21 points for the Huskies, who have not lost since April 6, 2008, in the NCAA tournament semifinals. Only twice during the record run has a team come within single digits of UConn (11-0)—Stanford in the NCAA championship game last season and Baylor in early November.
When the final buzzer sounded, UConn players sprinted across the floor to shake hands with the student section as fans held up signs with “89” and the Huskies logo on them. Two other fans raised a banner that read “The Sorcerer of Storrs,” and big, blue “89” balloons bobbed in the stands.
After a brief huddle in front of their bench, UConn players re-emerged wearing “89 and Counting” T-shirts. As fans roared, the players bounced around at center court before posing for photos.
It is one more chapter of history for UConn, and perhaps the grandest.
“It’s pretty amazing. It really is,” said Auriemma, at a rare loss for words.
The Huskies already own seven national titles and four perfect seasons under Auriemma.
Two days after beating No. 11 Ohio State to tie UCLA, UConn toppled the mark in front of a sellout crowd of 16,294 at the XL Center that included Wooden’s grandson, Greg, attending his first women’s game.
“My grandfather would have been thrilled. He would have been absolutely thrilled to see his streak broken by a women’s basketball team,” the 47-year-old Wooden said. “He thought, especially in the last 10 years, that the best basketball was played at the collegiate level—and it wasn’t by the men.”
John Wooden, the beloved Wizard of Westwood, died June 4 at age 99.
UConn’s rise to prominence began in 1995, when Lobo led the Huskies to their first national championship and unbeaten season. Since then, the best players in the country have made their way to the rural campus in Storrs.
The Huskies have won by any average of more than 33 points during the streak and rarely found themselves in trouble. They have trailed for 134 minutes, including only 13 in the second half. They’ve won back-to-back national championships, and are now one short of Tennessee’s record for overall titles by a women’s team.
Last updated: 2:11 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012