Top-ranked UConn beats Clemson 87-48Nov 30, 2009 - 12:33 AM By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press Writer
STORRS, Conn.(AP) -- Top-ranked Connecticut has added another tournament championship to its long list of titles.
The six-time national champions won their 13th consecutive in-season tournament Sunday, beating Clemson 87-48 in the WBCA Classic. They have not lost in an in-season tournament since 1992.
"You don't want to be sitting there watching somebody else stand there at half court getting a trophy for winning a championship," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "As long as they are keeping score and giving out trophies, we might as well be standing in line first."
Kalana Greene scored a career-high 28 points, pulled down eight rebounds and four steals to lead UConn, which extended its winning streak to 45 games.
"I think today was just that my defense translated into the other end of the floor," Greene said. "That is what I want to do every game, get out in the passing lane and get stops on defense."
Tina Charles had 20 points - all in the first half - and Maya Moore added 19 points for the Huskies.
Lele Hardy had 17 points for Clemson, which actually led the game for over 2 1/2 minutes, the first time UConn has trailed all season. Lindsay Welker added 11.
"I thought we came out and played hard early, said Clemson coach Cristy McKinney. "We got some shots and knocked down some shots. Small victory I guess, very small."
UConn has won each game in its streak by at least 10 points, and has won all six games this season by at least 25 points. The Huskies beat Hofstra 91-46 in their first tournament game Friday, and routed Richmond 86-37 on Saturday.
Clemson became the first team this season to take a lead on the Huskies when Hardy hit a 3-pointer 33 seconds into the game to make it 3-2. The Tigers were up 9-6 just over 2 minutes into the contest, but that was the biggest advantage they would have. Charles scored 10 of the Huskies first 14 points, and sparked a 16-2 run that made it 22-11.
Clemson tried to stay with the Huskies, cutting the lead to 31-21 on another 3-pointer by Hardy that prompted UConn coach Geno Auriemma to call a timeout. UConn scored the next 11 points.
Greene had three steals and two layups in the final minute before intermission as the Huskies extended the lead to 54-27. The South Carolina native scored 16 second-half points.
"I sure don't want her playing like that because she's mad at Clemson that they didn't recruit her," McKinney said. "I sure would have."
Connecticut missed all nine of its 3-point attempts in the first half, and was just two of 15 for the game, after hitting 13 on Saturday against Richmond.
But the Huskies scored 62 points in the paint, while holding Clemson to 20.
"When one big man gets the ball, the other one is supposed to sprint down the court, post up and move the ball in the lane," Charles said. "That's what Maya and I were able to do tonight and our teammates were passing up the ball, which allowed us to establish our position."
Connecticut is now 3-1 against Clemson. The 61-59 loss came on March 17, 1990 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and was the last time the Huskies lost an NCAA Tournament game at Gampel Pavilion.
The Tigers finished the round-robin tournament 1-2, losing to Richmond 86-67 on Friday and beating Hofstra 69-68 on Saturday.
UConn is in the middle of a seven-game home stand, which concludes with a Dec. 23 showdown against No. 2 Stanford.
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