STORRS, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Add 100 consecutive wins to the UConn Huskies’ long list of milestones that includes 11 women’s basketball national titles.
Getting the streak to the century mark was a little tougher than many of the previous 99 victories, which UConn won by an average 38.7 points. Gabby Williams scored a career-high 26 points and Napheesa Collier added 18 to help the top-ranked Huskies beat No. 6 South Carolina 66-55 on Monday night.
Coach Geno Auriemma said he never thought his team would come close to reaching the century mark, let alone break the previous NCAA record set by the Huskies from 2008-10.
“I thought tonight was gonna be a really, really difficult game for us to win, under the best of circumstances,” Auriemma said.
The Hall of Fame coach set up the most difficult non-conference schedule in the country, playing five of the top eight teams in the AP women’s basketball poll before Monday. The Huskies came away victorious in each one. UConn (25-0) last lost on Nov. 17, 2014, at Stanford.
“It was meant to be,” Auriemma said.
Trailing 29-28 late in the first half, the Huskies scored seven straight to take a six-point halftime lead. South Carolina (21-3) cut its deficit to 40-37 midway through the third quarter, but Williams had consecutive layups to start an 11-2 run to close the period and put the game away.
“This is a February game and we have a long road ahead of us still, but it felt good tonight,” Williams said.
The game drew a sellout crowd of 10,167 that included past greats Sue Bird, Maya Moore, Tina Charles and Breanna Stewart, who helped the Huskies to the first 75 wins of this streak.
“The excitement is still here. We still have games, watchings for the finals and activities. We all play basketball in the lobby,” a student at the school’s Stamford campus told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “It’s exciting.”
In New Rochelle, fifth grade girls playing for a CYO league team out of Holy Family have been watching the women across the state line rack up the wins.
“They won their 100th game. It’s really inspiring because we’re undefeated too. We had a practice against the boys and we won,” Carly McBride said.
The 5th grade boys were giving the girls a workout in preparation for the upcoming playoffs and it turned real.
“They didn’t think we could beat them, and we were leading by 7 and they started picking up on us, but it didn’t change anything,” Olivia Fasino said.
At the end of four quarters the girls were up 47-46, they then played a fifth quarter and ended down by one 54-53.
Like at UConn, the girls at the girls at Holy Familyaren’t really familiar with losing, the 16-0 team is inspired and expects to keep going.
The boy’s team has asked for a rematch, the girls will play their first divisional playoff game on Sunday.
The Huskies will soon head to the NCAA tournament hoping for a fifth consecutive title.
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