Not so fast, my friend

Bears snap Huskies’ home win streak at 98

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY - By Doug Feinberg


HART­FORD, Conn. – Tea Cooper scored 27 points and No. 6 Bay­lor used a dom­i­nant fourth quar­ter to beat topranked UConn 74-58 on Thurs­day night, end­ing the Huskies’ 98-game home win­ning streak.

UConn fell one vic­tory short of ty­ing its own NCAA record of 99 in a row at home. The Huskies’ pre­vi­ous loss at home came in the Big East fi­nal against Notre Dame on March 12, 2013.

Bay­lor (12-1) led by three go­ing into the fourth quar­ter, and nei­ther team could get much go­ing on of­fense in the first few min­utes of the fi­nal pe­riod. The Huskies cut the deficit to one on Christyn Wil­liams’ jumper with 6 min­utes, 36 sec­onds left. Then the reign­ing na­tional cham­pi­ons took over.

The Lady Bears re­sponded with the next 15 points to put the game away. The run started on a layup by Lau­ren Cox and two bas­kets by Nalyssa Smith. Smith fin­ished with 20 points and 12 re­bounds.

UConn (12-1) didn’t score a bas­ket af­ter Wil­liams’ jumper un­til Crys­tal Danger­field hit a 3-pointer in the fi­nal minute.

Wil­liams scored 21 points to lead the Huskies.

This was UConn’s first real test of the sea­son. Since 2007, the Huskies have played at least one team ranked in the top five be­fore the New Year. This sea­son, the only ranked op­po­nent be­fore Thurs­day that UConn has faced was then-No. 16 DePaul.

While UConn hadn’t been tested this sea­son un­til this game, Bay­lor suf­fered its only loss of the sea­son in the Par­adise Jam Tour­na­ment over Thanks­giv­ing to then-No. 5 South Carolina.

Bay­lor was up 33-25 late in the sec­ond quar­ter when UConn coach Geno Auriemma called a time­out. The Huskies re­sponded by scor­ing the next nine points be­fore Bay­lor hit the last bas­ket be­fore the half to take a 35-34 lead into the break.

The Lady Bears ex­tended that lead to 55-52 af­ter three quar­ters. The Huskies had a chance to make it a one-point game, but Walker missed a layup with a few sec­onds left. Auriemma slammed the scor­ers ta­ble with both hands in dis­gust af­ter she

Carter-Wil­liams still is re­hab­bing his AC joint sprain in his shoul­der.

“There’s al­ways go­ing to be ad­ver­sity, espe­cially when you got guys down,” Ross said. “You’re go­ing on a West Coast trip. It’s a long trip. There’s al­ways go­ing to be ad­ver­sity. It’s how we over­come it.”

Or­lando will find out a lot dur­ing the road trip.

It’s the long­est road trip of the sea­son, filled with mas­sive tests.

The Magic are con­fi­dent af­ter win­ning four of five. A win­ning record on the trip would mean even more mo­men­tum for the rest of the month.

“You can see what we’re built of,” Fultz said. “It’s go­ing to be a bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I think it’s go­ing to be fun. I think we re­ally gotta lock in go­ing [on] these road trips and come to­gether and do the same thing we did these last cou­ple of games. Lock in on de­fense, play to­gether on of­fense and come out of the road trip with a win­ning record.” missed it.

This wasn’t the first time that Bay­lor ended one of UConn’s streaks. The Lady Bears topped UConn last sea­son, end­ing the Huskies’ 126-game reg­u­lar sea­son win­ing streak.

UConn has three more games against ranked teams over the next few weeks with No. 23 Ten­nessee com­ing to Con­necti­cut on Jan. 23 in the first matchup of the for­mer ri­vals since 2007. The Huskies then face No. 2 Ore­gon on Feb. 3 and fourthrank­ed South Carolina on Feb. 10.

The Lady Bears also beat UConn last sea­son when the Huskies were ranked No. 1. The two vic­to­ries are Bay­lor’s only wins over a No. 1 team. These two teams are 1-2 in vic­to­ries since 2010-11, with UConn go­ing 339-18 and Bay­lor 324-24. UConn will be ranked in the poll Mon­day for the 500th con­sec­u­tive week. A host of WNBA coaches and GMs were in at­ten­dance check­ing out Cox, Crys­tal Danger­field, Cooper and Juicy Lan­drum. Con­necti­cut Gov. Ned La­mont sat be­hind the UConn bench. Caitlin Bickle played her first ac­tion for Bay­lor in more than a month af­ter she had surgery to re­pair a par­tial tear in her right menis­cus.


UConn play­ers, from left, Ba­touly Ca­mara, Molly Bent and Eve­lyn Ade­bayo re­act dur­ing the Huskies’ loss to Bay­lor Thurs­day night.


Or­lando Magic guard Evan Fournier goes up for a shot against Los An­ge­les Lak­ers guard Danny Green dur­ing a matchup in De­cem­ber at Amway Cen­ter. The Lak­ers are among the teams the Magic will face in their up­com­ing six-game road trip.

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