College basketball has a new win streak queen. It’s the same program as its predecessor, but this time one win more impressive.
UConn women’s basketball won its 91st game in a row Saturday at SMU, blitzing the Mustangs 26-2 in the first quarter and easing to a 88-48 victory. In doing so, it surpassed its own record of 90 consecutive wins set in 2010.
The current streak began in November 2014. It includes the last two national championships, two conference championships, and dominant wins of all kinds.
Auriemma has admitted that he set up this year’s non-conference schedule to end the streak; he filled it with seven top-15 teams despite losing the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 picks in last April’s WNBA draft. But his team had other ideas. It passed its 12 November and December tests by more than 22 points per game, and has now won its four American Athletic Conference games by an average margin of 46.5.
The most recent real obstacle that the Huskies cleared was a Dec. 29 trip to Maryland. They opened the second half with a 14-0 run, then held off the fourth-ranked Terrapins, 87-81, to claim victory No. 87 in a row.
After No. 87, No. 91 seemed inevitable, just as so many of the other 90 had before it. The perceived inevitability is one of the things that has made the streak so remarkable. UConn has redefined the word blowout. It has made top-25 teams look like high school squads and average Division I teams look like middle school clubs. Victory No. 90 was a 102-37 rout of USF — 20th-ranked USF, that is.
The next potential roadblock arises on Feb. 13, when No. 5 South Carolina and Dawn Staley visit Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. A win that night, assuming no slip-ups between now and then, would give the Huskies their 100th-straight win.
The 2008-10 streak ended with a 71-59 non-conference loss to Stanford. This one doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon as the Huskies roll through the AAC.
If the top-ranked Huskies were to run through the rest of the season undefeated and win a fifth-consecutive national championship, the win streak would reach 113.
At this point, though, no matter how far Auriemma and the Huskies go before their next loss, the streak won’t soon be forgotten. And this era of UConn women’s basketball — which also includes the second-longest and third-longest win streaks in women’s college basketball history — will forever live in college basketball lore.