Streak’s Alive: UConn Women Defeat #2 Baylor 65-64 for 80th Straight Victory

I didn’t get to write a preview of the UConn Women’s game against #2 Baylor.  If I had, it would have started with something like, “No way that UConn wins this game.  Baylor returns too many players from last year’s team, while UConn has lost Tina Charles and Kalana Greene to graduation, and Caroline Doty to injury.  The streak will end at 79.”

There is no way I thought that Connecticut would win the game.  With Doty, I would have given them a chance, and would have believed they could be a legitimate #1 ranked team.  With Doty, they would have returned three starters, with top sub Kelly Faris replacing Kalana Greene, and Stefanie Dolson and Heather Buck playing center by committee.  With Doty, they seemed to be almost as well off as Stanford, who lost their center, Jayne Appel to graduation.  But the Cardinal returned more veterans.

Without Doty, my feeling was that the Huskies simply lost too much to be #1.  Sure, the freshmen are very good, but replacing three starters just seemed like too much of a task, even with Maya Moore.  And freshman Michala Johnson has yet to play.

If I remember correctly, Baylor returned four starters from last season, and added Top 5 recruit Odyssey Sims.  It figured that the Bears should have closed the gap from last season and I figured them as the better team.

I did not see the game.  Looking at the box score, it’s hard to believe that UConn won.  CBSSports Game Tracker lists four Players of the Game – three are from Baylor.  The Huskies shot 23-70 for the game, while Baylor was 22-44.  It’s hard to believe that the Huskies shot that poorly and won, and hard to believe that they had 26 extra shots.  But they outrebounded the Bears by 5, 40-35; had 9 fewer turnovers; and sent Baylor to the line 28 times.  If that was a strategy, it was a good one, because the Bears shot only 16-28 from the line.

If you’re rooting for the Huskies to break UCLA’s record of 88 straight wins, they now have a legitimate shot.  Well, I suppose they always had a legitimate shot, but I didn’t think they’d get past Baylor.  Who knows, maybe they’ll lose the next game on the road at Georgia Tech, but after that come Howard, Lehigh and LSU, followed by South Florida, Sacred Heart and Marquette.  Should they make it that far, Ohio State would be the opponent as they try and tie the record, with Florida State the next opponent.

Kudos to the Huskies on a great win!


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