UConn routs USF, 102-37, ties own record with 90th straight win

Connecticut's Katie Lou Samuelson, center, celebrates with teammates Napheesa Collier, left, and Saniya Chong, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Florida, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Connecticut’s Katie Lou Samuelson, center, celebrates with teammates Napheesa Collier, left, and Saniya Chong, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Florida, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Top-ranked UConn tied its own NCAA record with its 90th consecutive win, routing No. 20 South Florida 102-37 on Tuesday night.

Saniya Chong scored 20 points to lead six players in double figures for the Huskies (15-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference), who matched the streak Geno Auriemma’s program set between November 2008 and December 2010.

Maria Jespersen had 11 points for South Florida (13-2, 2-1 American Athletic Conference), which has never beaten UConn in 21 attempts.

Chong hit a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 opening run and the Huskies quickly extinguished any USF hopes for an upset. The Huskies led by 22 after the first 10 minutes. Another 3-pointer by Chong gave UConn its first 40-point lead at 53-13 with four minutes left in the second quarter.

It was 65-19 at halftime.

USF coach Jose Fernandez decided before the game to try to match UConn’s transition game. But the Huskies were more than able to run with the Bulls. They outscored USF 18-5 in fast-break points and 48-14 in the paint. Chong had eight of their 31 assists, compared to just three for USF.

UConn hasn’t lost since Nov. 17, 2014, at then-No. 6 Stanford, a two-point defeat in overtime. Without that loss, the streak would be 138 games.

Four members of the current team, Chong, Gabby Williams (11 points, 13 rebounds), Kia Nurse (13 points, seven rebounds), and Tierney Lawlor, have been part of the program for all 90 wins.

USF’s Kitija Laksa, the league’s top scorer, came in averaging 21.6 points per game. She finished with seven.

After the game, UConn stayed on the court to watch a congratulatory video made by former players as fans held up signs reading “90 and counting.”

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies haven’t shied away from tough competition during their streak. Since the Stanford loss, the Huskies have beaten 27 ranked opponents, including eight this season. UConn is now 238-61 against ranked opponents and 37-11 at home against the Top 25 since 2004-05.

The Huskies also matched the program’s record of 57 straight regular-season conference wins from 2008 to 2012, which is the fifth longest in Division I history. They last did it as members of the Big East. Texas holds that NCAA record at 124 straight.

South Florida: This was the seventh meeting in the last three seasons between the programs. South Florida is 64-13 over that stretch against every other opponent.

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies will go for 91 straight wins in Dallas on Saturday against SMU.

South Florida: The Bulls head back to Florida for a three-game homestand, starting Saturday against East Carolina.

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