Huskies extend streak to 83 with win over Lehigh
STORRS, Conn. (AP)—UConn coach Geno Auriemma says he has a simple coaching strategy: He just tells the Huskies to get the ball to Maya Moore.
“Coaching is really easy, provided you’ve got the kind of player no one else has,” Auriemma said. “And as long as we’ve got that, I think we’ve got a chance to win every single game we play.”
The Huskies (5-0), who have not lost since the 2008 national semifinals, need just five more wins to tie the UCLA men for the longest streak in NCAA Division I history.
Moore made 12 of her 21 shots, pulled down five rebounds and had four assists.
After struggling in her last few games, Tiffany Hayes added 14 points and nine rebounds for UConn.
“One fell in and my confidence just shot up,” Hayes said. “I just knew the rest of them were going to drop.”
Freshmen Bria Hartley and Samarie Walker each had 11 points. Walker, who was 5-of-7 from the floor, added seven rebounds.
Aly Byorick had eight points to lead Lehigh (1-5).
Moore needs just 48 points to tie Tina Charles for the top spot on the school’s scoring list. For a while, it appeared she might get there in the first half.
She had the Huskies’ first four field goals and scored 13 of their first 18 points. UConn used a 12-0 run to open up an early 20-7 lead.
Moore made seven of her first eight shots, while playing guard, forward and, at times, center.
“I think I have a little bit more of a warrior mindset when I’m out there knowing that, ‘OK, I’m the center—I’ve got to hold it down for my team in the middle,”’ she said. “It’s something I have to be prepared to do when coach puts us out there as a small lineup.”
She hit a 3-pointer that highlighted a 13-0 run and stretched the lead to 42-17. Moore had nine points and an assist during the spurt.
It was 44-19 at the half, the 32nd time during the streak UConn has scored more by halftime than its opponent managed in the entire game.
The Mountain Hawks (1-5) won the Patriot League and were an NCAA tournament team last season.
Senior Courtney Dentler, who matched her career high with 20 points against LSU in the first game of this World Vision Challenge tournament, was held to four Saturday.
“We came into this tournament with the idea that playing such high-level teams will only make us better,” said Lehigh coach Sue Troyan. “I think these games will help us prepare for the NCAA tournament, if we get that far.”
The Huskies play LSU on Sunday. The Tigers (4-3) beat Lehigh 74-63 on Friday and routed Howard 69-39 in Saturday’s first game.
Coach Van Chancellor said he wouldn’t mind setting up a series with UConn. Auriemma drew laughter at his news conference when he said he’d be for it because Chancellor “does things the right way.”
That was a clear shot at another SEC coach, Pat Summitt of Tennessee, who has refused to play UConn and accused Auriemma of cheating. Summitt told reporters earlier this season that she wouldn’t mind playing a Big East team like Louisville, because Cardinals coach Jeff Walz “does things the right way.”
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