The No. 1-ranked UConn women’s basketball team earned its 88th consecutive win Sunday against No. 10 Ohio State, tying NCAA basketball’s all-time record set by the UCLA men’s team in the early 1970s.
The Huskies (10-0) out-muscled and out-shot the Buckeyes (8-2) in pursuit of the 81-50 victory during game two of the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Brittany Johnson gave OSU a 6-0 lead early, before junior guard Tiffany Hayes helped spark a 27-9 run for UConn. Hayes, who scored 17 of her game-high 26 points in the first half en route to a 40-26 Huskies halftime lead, was happy to be the catalyst for her team.
“I never had so much fun,” Hayes said. “I was glad I was able to start” the run.
Meanwhile, the Buckeyes shot only 28 percent in the first half, and senior center Jantel Lavender, who finished the game with 14 points, converted only 2 of 10 attempts from the field.
“I had some good looks. I just didn’t finish,” Lavender said of her shooting struggles.
Lavender found her rhythm and scored OSU’s first six points of the second half, but UConn senior forward Maya Moore had already launched an 18-6 run by that time. The Buckeyes’ deficit stretched to 58-34 as the Huskies pulled away for good.
“That’s the best way to play,” Moore said. “I don’t think you can ask for a better team win.”
Moore finished the game with 22 points.
OSU coach Jim Foster praised Moore and the rest of the record-setting UConn squad.
Moore “has the quickest release that a women’s basketball player has ever had,” Foster said. UConn “is very physical. They play their game very, very well. They’ve earned everything.”
The Buckeyes shooting percentage fell to 27 percent by game’s end, but Foster did not blame the loss solely on that.
“We’ve just got to run hard,” Foster said. “Right now, we’re pretty good at talking, but we didn’t meet the challenge.”