Maya Moore has had lots of homes in her lifetime.
She was born in Jefferson City, Missouri. Moved to North Carolina and then settled down in Lawrenceville, GA for middle and high school. Now the senior forward has made Storrs, CT her stomping ground since she stepped on campus 4 years ago.
Today she returns home, to where she honed her game the most: Atlanta, for the first and final time in her UConn career.
Maya Moore was a 2-time Naismith winner for Collins Hill High School and finished her high school career as the all-time leading scorer and rebounder, a feat she is on pace to do again at Connecticut. She left Collins Hill with a record of 125-3 and not to be outdone, Moore and her teammate - senior guard Lorin Dixon - boast a career record of 116-2 currently.
With all of the nostalgia that is bound to be running through Maya’s head it’s easy to forget that there is a game that has to be played in a potentially hostile environment, with over 6,000 tickets already sold but Moore is looking forward to it.
"It will be a good atmosphere. A lot of people will come out. I have a lot of friends and family that said that they’ll be there," Moore said. "It is a road game. We are going to expect a crowd against us."
UConn has only played Georgia Tech once in its history. It was Game 1 of their current 80 game winning streak with UConn winning 82-71.
The Yellow Jackets were actually tied with UConn at the half, something that has become an anomaly over the past few years. They were down only 3 when UConn went on a 17-9 run to close the game. It helped that Georgia Tech shot 10-15 behind the 3 point arc.
Georgia Tech enters the 2010 contest with a record of 3-1. Their lone defeat was at Old Dominion University 63-65. They are led in scoring by senior Alex Montgomery and freshman Tyaunna Marshall at 12.8 points per game. Montgomery is the Yellow Jackets leading rebounder at 9.8 per game.
Tech is always a strong defensive team that likes to run. It will be interesting to see if they can run with the strong sharp shooting and youthful Huskies who don’t mind getting up and down the floor.
Another deciding factor could be the crowd: while UConn is used to the big crowds, home teams can sometimes get stage fright when ‘the circus comes to town,’ as Connecticut Huskies coach Geno Auriemma says.
If Georgia Tech can keep their emotions in check and possibly pressure UConn's young guards they have a chance. If they can also get the crowd behind them they have a chance to pull the upset.
But that's what Maya Moore enjoys the most and when she plays her best.
"We’ll come together even more. It is really fun to win on the road," Moore said. "These guys (freshman) will get a taste of that. Build on (the Baylor win) and bring a similar effort."
Fast Facts on Maya Moore & UConn
- Moore enters the game with 2,219 points. Only trailing Tina Charles by 127.
- Moore has the highest per game scoring average at 18.8 of any UConn player ever.
- She is 4th on UConn’s career rebounding list at 976.
- UConn has won 137 games in a row against unranked opponents.
- UConn has won its last 17 road openers.