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UConn routs Northeastern 105-35 in season opener

Nov 15, 2009 - 4:18 AM By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press Writer

STORRS, Conn.(AP) -- A few minutes after raising their latest national championship banner, Tina Charles and Connecticut jumped out to a 28-0 lead.

These Huskies sure look like they may be headed to another title.

In their first game since going undefeated and winning a sixth national championship, UConn demolished Northeastern 105-35 on Saturday.

"I do not want my team thinking they are not a good team because they lost today," said Northeastern coach Daynia La-Force Mann. "I think they were more shocked that we, as a team, did not execute well today."

Charles led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds, and was one of six Huskies in double figures. Charles grabbed her 1,000th career rebound, Kalana Greene scored her 1,000th career point and the Huskies put up a school-record 69 points in the first half.

"It's a mindset," said Maya Moore. who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. "Just not to get caught up in the score, not to necessarily get caught up in the stats, but just to go out every possession and get a stop and get a great bucket on the other end and do that as many times until there is a time-out or a whistle or somebody stops you."

Nobody has stopped UConn recently.

The team extended its winning streak to 40 games, its home winning streak to 40 games, and its regular-season winning streak to 39 games. UConn also has 116 consecutive wins against unranked non-conference opponents.

Tiffany Hayes had 14 points; Kalana Greene had 13 and Caroline Doty and Meghan Gardler each added 10.

Rachael Pecota led Northeastern with 10 points.

Northeastern hit just 19 percent of its shots, while UConn shot 60 percent from the field, and 68 percent in the first half.

"I told our players, 'We've run offense with no defense and not made this many shots," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. "You still have to make those shots and you still have to have a certain attitude about it, and we did."

The 28-0 run to start the game was the team's longest since they scored 32 straight against Holy Cross last Dec. 3. They had four players in double figures by halftime.

Greene's driving layup just under 2 minutes into the game gave her 1,000 points for her career, the 33rd UConn player to reach that milestone.

Charles came into the game needing five rebounds for 1,000. She got her fifth less than five minutes into the game on the offensive end, grabbing a missed shot by Greene. She was fouled on the putback, and her free throws gave UConn a 22-0 lead.

"It means a lot, just for the simple fact that coach always tells me I'm the worst rebounder ever," she said.

A 3-pointer by Greene gave UConn a 100-30 lead with just under 5 minutes left. It was the 60th time UConn has scored 100 points or more.

UConn outrebounded Northeastern 61 to 19.

The win leaves coach Geno Auriemma three shy of 700 for his career.

Connecticut played without junior point guard Lorin Dixon and senior forward Kaili McLaren.

Dixon is recovering from a left hamstring injury, and McLaren was in a protective boot after twisting her right ankle in practice on Friday.

The Huskies haven't lost at home since Jan. 6, 2007, when they were beaten by Tennessee.

UConn now heads to San Antonio, where they will take on No. 12 Texas on Tuesday.

"It's going to be a lot of fun today, tomorrow on the plane, Monday at the practice," Auriemma said. "Then on Tuesday at about 7, 7:30 central time, the fun could be sucked out of that balloon in a minute."


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