Dallas, TX — History was made Saturday afternoon at the Moody Coliseum.
The University of Connecticut broke the record for most consecutive victories in a sport with their 88- 48 win over the SMU Mustangs. This was their 91st straight victory.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said he is proud of his players for their “remarkable” achievement.
“There will be a loss at some point,” he said. “But until then I tell them to enjoy it because not everyone gets to experience something like this.”
Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong and Gabby Williams started the game for the Huskies, and their strong momentum kept going throughout the game. In the first quarter alone, UConn was ahead 26-2, while the Mustangs’ only two points came from junior forward Alicia Froling.
After 10 minutes of play, sophomore guard Samuelson led the team with 14 points, with six coming from behind the arc. Sophomore forward Collier and junior forward Williams, followed suit by pitching in with nine and four points, respectively.
SMU head basketball coach Travis Mays even though his team had missed opportunities in the first quarter, they “battled the rest of the game.”
Auriemma said he didn’t expect SMU to stop playing after the first quarter either.
“It wasn’t like the SMU kids were gonna stop playing,” he said. “And they didn’t.”
In the second quarter, SMU found their rhythm. Froling totaled eight rebounds and put up six points; two from free throws. Devri Owens made a three-pointer and Kiara Perry and Mikayla Reese also scored for the Mustangs.
UConn went periods without scoring and made simple mistakes. Auriemma said it got ugly during the long stretches.
“When we started missing, we kept missing,” he stated.
However, Collier and Williams were key elements in the defense for UConn in the second quarter. Collier had three defensive rebounds while Williams had two. And offensively, Samuelson tallied 11 points, three from the charity stripe.
Even though SMU scored 16 points in the second stanza, by halftime UConn led the Mustangs, 44-18.
The second half was still going to be a battle – the Mustangs weren’t going to give in without a fight. Even though the Mustangs scored first in the third quarter, it was the Huskies who dominated the period.
UConn shot almost 47.6 percent from the field while SMU shot 38.9 percent. Even with SMU junior guard McKenzie Adams making two three-pointers, the Huskies had nearly a 30-point lead. Chong had six points off of three-pointers, while Collier, Samuelson and Williams all scored twice.
UConn turned it on in the last 10 minutes once again. After going on a 12-0 run, the Huskies had a strong 80-38 lead with a little over five minutes to play. A three-pointer by SMU guard Amaura Brandt would give the Mustangs 48, but with less than thirty seconds to play, the Huskies sealed in their historic victory, 88-48.
Auriemma said now that the 91st win is done; he hopes he does not have to deal with the significance of win 92.
With the Huskies making history, Anucha Browne, the NCAA’s Vice President of Women’s Basketball, provided her congratulations for such a great achievement:
“Congratulations to Geno Auriemma and the UConn Huskies on the sustained excellence it has taken to establish a new consecutive games won record,” she said. “Even though they make it look easy at times, 91 wins and counting is an unbelievable accomplishment.
“It is saying something when you have broken the all-time consecutive games won record three times. To have won over 70 games in a row three times over the last 14 years is a testament to the UConn student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans who continue to fuel the program. Kudos to the UConn women’s basketball program for continuing to raise the bar for the rest of the sport.”