UConn’s women’s basketball team has finally proven that separating girls’ sports from boys’ sports is stupid. Because girls can be just as good.
The No. 1-ranked Huskies women’s basketball team topped the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden’s UCLA men’s team from 1971-74, beating No. 22 Florida State 93-62 on Tuesday night. Playing with the relentlessness that has become its trademark-and would have made Wooden proud-Connecticut blew past the Seminoles as it has so many other teams in the last 2 1/2 years.
Maya Moore had a double-double with a career-high 41 points and 10 rebounds and Bria Hartley added 21 points for the Huskies, who have not lost since April 6, 2008, in the NCAA tournament semifinals. Only twice during the record run has a team come within single digits of UConn-Stanford in the NCAA championship game last season and Baylor in early November.
When the final buzzer sounded, UConn players sprinted across the floor to shake hands with the student section as fans held up signs with “89” and the Huskies logo on them. A couple of other fans raised a banner that read “The Sorcerer of Storrs.” After a brief huddle in front of their bench, UConn players re-emerged wearing “89 and Counting” T-shirts and bounced around at center court before posing for photos.
“I’m not John Wooden and this isn’t UCLA,” coach Geno Auriemma said. “This is Connecticut and that’s good enough.”
It is one more chapter of history for UConn, and perhaps the grandest.
Connecticut long ago established itself as the marquee program in the women’s game, the benchmark by which all others are measured. The Huskies already own seven national titles and four perfect seasons under Auriemma, and they’ve produced a galaxy of stars that includes Rebecca Lobo, Diana Taurasi, Jennifer Rizzotti, Sue Bird and Tina Charles.
The streak, though, takes it to another level, certainly raising the profile of women’s basketball and maybe all of women’s athletics
We girls can dream… But these chicks still have nowhere to go but the WNBA or ESPN. SMH.