UConn women tie victory mark
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.
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 a 77-41 rout of Syracuse in the Big East quarterfinals yesterday.
"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."
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 yesterday's first quarterfinal.
Kayla Alexander scored 11 to lead the Orange (22-10).
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," Moore said. "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."
No. 4 Tennessee 70, No. 19 Kentucky 62: Shekinna Stricklen scored 20 points and Tennessee (30-2) beat Kentucky (25-7) in the SEC tournament title game at Duluth, Ga. Tennessee completed its first sweep of the SEC's regular-season and tournament championships in 10 years.
No. 5 Xavier 51, Charlotte 49: Tyeasha Moss scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half to lift Xavier (26-3) past Charlotte (17-13) in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 at Upper Marlboro, Md. Ta'Shia Phillips added 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Musketeers, who ended the 49ers' bid to win back-to-back conference tournaments.
No. 6 Notre Dame 75, No. 16 St. John's 67: Skyler Diggins scored 21 points to lead Notre Dame (27-4) over St. John's (23-6) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at Hartford, Conn. Devereaux Peters added 13 points for Notre Dame.
No. 7 West Virginia 47, DePaul 41: Liz Repella scored 16 points to lead West Virginia (27-4) over DePaul (21-10) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at Hartford, Conn. West Virginia broke the school record for victories by topping the 26-4 mark of the 1991-92 team.
No. 9 Duke 70, N.C. State 60: Jasmine Thomas scored 18 points and Duke (27-5) beat N.C. State (20-13) at Greensboro, N.C., to capture its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 2004. Karima Christmas added 13 points for top-seeded Duke, which forced 23 turnovers and outrebounded the Wolfpack 46-32.
No. 10 Ohio St. 66, Iowa 64: Jantel Lavender made two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to help Ohio State (30-4) beat Iowa (19-13) for its second straight Big Ten tournament title. Lavender led the Buckeyes back from a 16-point second-half deficit, finishing with 35 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 11 Oklahoma 95, No. 20 Oklahoma St. 62: Amanda Thompson scored a career-high 29 points and host Oklahoma (21-9, 11-5 Big 12) set a school record with 16 3-pointers against Oklahoma State (21-9, 9-7). Andrea Riley, the nation's No. 3 scorer, led Oklahoma State with 25 points.
Rutgers 63, No. 12 Georgetown 56: Chelsey Lee scored 17 points and Nikki Speed hit two big 3-pointers to lift Rutgers (19-13) to a double-overtime victory over Georgetown (25-6) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at Hartford, Conn. Speed hit a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left to force a second overtime. She also banked in a 3 in the second overtime that gave Rutgers a 56-51 lead with 2:55 left.
No. 18 Texas 70, No. 14 Baylor 54: Cokie Reed scored 18 points and visiting Texas (21-9, 10-6 Big 12) held Baylor (22-8, 9-7) to only two field goals in the second half. Baylor was playing without Brittney Griner, who was suspended for two games by coach Kim Mulkey after throwing a punch at Texas Tech's Jordan Barncastle on Wednesday night.
No. 17 Gonzaga 87, Santa Clara 47: Heather Bowman scored 18 points to lead Gonzaga (26-4) over Santa Clara (5-27) in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Las Vegas. Vivian Frieson added 12 points, five rebounds and three steals for Gonzaga.
No. 23 Hartford 65, Stony Brook 43: Mary Silvia came off the bench to score 17 points and host Hartford (27-3) beat Stony Brook (10-20), giving the Hawks 20 straight wins heading into the America East title game. Daphne Elliott added 13 points off the bench for Hartford, which improved to 18-0 in league play counting the tournament.
Metro Atlantic Athletic: Corielle Yarde scored 17 points, tournament MVP Rachele Fitz added 15 and Erica Allensbach had 13 as Marist (26-7) beat Fairfield (19-13) at Albany, N.Y. to win its fifth straight conference title. It was the seventh straight title appearance Marist, with its only loss in the championship game a 60-59 setback to Canisius in 2005.
MEN'S TOP 25
NO. 3 KENTUCKY 74, FLORIDA 66: Darius Miller and Eric Bledsoe had 14 points apiece, and Kentucky (29-2, 14-2 SEC) beat Florida (20-11, 9-7), completing an 18-0 home season and likely cementing its hold on a top seed in the NCAA tournament. Kentucky, college basketball's winningest program, last had 14 wins in the league in 2005.
No. 11 Michigan St. 64, Michigan 48: Raymar Morgan scored 13 of his 22 points in the first half, helping host Michigan State (24-7, 14-4) over Michigan (14-16, 7-11) and a share of the Big Ten title. Michigan State shared the championship with Ohio State and Purdue.
No. 15 Wisconsin 72, Illinois 57: Taylor Jordan and John Leuer each scored 20 points, and visiting Wisconsin (23-7, 13-5 Big 10) beat Illinois (18-13, 10-8). Trevon Hughes added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Badgers.
No. 18 Gonzaga 77, Loyola Marymount 62: Steven Gray scored 18 points, Elias Harris added 16 and Gonzaga (26-5) advanced to the West Coast Conference tournament final with a victory over Loyola Marymount (18-15) at Las Vegas. Matt Bouldin scored 10 of his 12 points after halftime for the Zags.
Missouri Valley: Kwadzo Ahelegbe had 24 points and Northern Iowa (28-4) used dominating defense to beat Wichita State (25-9) at St. Louis for its second straight conference tournament title. Northern Iowa held the Shockers without a field goal for more than 12 minutes during a 25-3 second-half run.
Kansas State: Frank Martin agreed to a contract extension with Kansas State that will boost his annual salary to more than $1.5 million, the same day he was named The Associated Press Big 12 coach of the year.
Martin, the first man to win 20-plus games in each of his first three seasons at Kansas State, had been one of the lowest-paid coaches in the Big 12 at around $250,000 annually.
The Wildcats finished the regular season 24-6 overall and 11-5 in the Big 12, second to Kansas.