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2008–09 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team

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2008–09 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team

2008-09 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball
Big East Champions
Maggie Dixon Classic Champions
Caribbean Classic Champions
Conference Big East Conference (1979–2013)
Ranking
Coaches #1[1]
2008-09 record 39-0 (16-0 Big East)
Head coach Geno Auriemma
Associate head coach Chris Dailey
Assistant coach Jamelle Elliott
Assistant coach Shea Ralph
Home arena Harry A. Gampel Pavilion

The 2008–09 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team represented the University of Connecticut in the 2008–2009 NCAA Division I basketball season. Coached by Geno Auriemma, the Huskies played their home games at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and on campus at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, and are a member of the Big East Conference. They enjoyed an undefeated season and won their sixth NCAA championship by defeating the Louisville Cardinals, 76–54.

Regular season

Pre-season

The players, coaches, and other staff of the 2008-2009 UConn Huskies, winners of the 2009 national championship, are honored at the White House by President Barack Obama on April 27, 2009.

Both major pre-season polls ranked the Huskies number 1, each just one vote shy of unanimous. The AP Top 25 poll included all but one vote for Connecticut, with a single vote for Stanford, and the ESPN/USA Today Poll had all but one vote for Connecticut, with a single vote for Tennessee.[2] The team returned much of the previous year's team. Of the departing seniors, only Brittany Hunter started more than half the team's game, although Mel Thomas failed to reach that mark due to a career-ending injury.[3]

The Huskies started with a pair of triple digit scoring pre-season games. The first game was against Division II Stonehill College in nearby North Easton, Massachusetts. It was the first chance for fans to see freshman Caroline Doty, Tiffany Hayes, and Heather Buck in action. Caroline and Tiffany both scored in double-digits, and Heather had three rebounds and a blocked shot. The final score was in favor of UConn, 100-49.[4] The second pre-season game was even more lopsided, with UConn prevailing over Team SRP 103-37.[5]

Non conference opener

The regular season opening game was against [6] Connecticut would win their next three games easily, beating San Diego State and Rhode Island at home, and BYU in Utah, each win by at least 45 points.[7]

The following game would bring #4 ranked Oklahoma to Connecticut. Characterized as a "significant test" by ESPN's Graham Hays, Connecticut would win easily by 32 points, 106-72.[8] UConn would then play nearby Holy Cross, winning easily 96-37. In this game Caroline Doty would hit her tenth consecutive three-point goal, a UConn school record, and four off the national record.[9]

On December 14, the Huskies competed in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden and defeated Penn State by a score of 77-63.[10] From December 18 to the 21, the Huskies competed in the Caribbean Classic held in Cancun, Mexico. The Huskies were undefeated at the tournament.[11] After returning from Mexico, the Huskies traveled to South Carolina for their fifth consecutive road game. The team shot 57% from the field, and held their opponents to under 40%. Tina Charles has 21 points and 14 rebounds, helping lead the Huskies to their eleventh victory of the season.[12]

Connecticut hosted Hartford on New year's Eve. The Hartford Hawks, coached by former UConn star Jen Rizzotti, were no match, falling behind by 33 at halftime. Renee Montgomery hit 9 of 11 in the first half, and did not return in the second half after taking an elbow to the mouth.[13] LSU came to Connecticut for the first game of the new year. Both teams had been to the prior Final Four, each losing in the semi-final round. However, LSU had graduated five seniors, so the Lady Tigers were not expected to be as strong as the previous year's team. The pollsters concurred, not giving LSU a single vote for a top 25 position in either of the two major polls. LSU played stronger than their ranking, losing by 13 for the third closest match of the season to that date. Renee Montgomery's six assists, brought her to 1500 points and 500 assists for her career, a mark reach by only two other UConn players, Diana Taurasi and Jen Rizzotti.[14]

Beginning of conference play

The Big East opening game would be against South Florida USF would go on to win the WNIT this season, but UConn was far too strong on this day. USF was one of the nation's best scoring team, scoring over 100 on five occasions, including 126 against Grambling State.[15] UConn decided to work on defense, and held USF to just over 25% from the field. USF scored only 11 points in the second half.[16]

The next game would be against West Virginia, in West Virginia, the home of UConn senior Renee Montgomery. In her first game in West Virginia, two years prior, she scored seven points. This time she would lead the team in points (28), assists(5), and steals(2) to lead UConn to a 30 point victory in front of her home town crowd.[17] Three days later, UConn would play at home against DePaul. UConn built a 15 point lead by halftime against the unranked team, but despite falling another ten points behind, DePaul would play them even in the second half. The final score was 77-62, in favor of UConn.[18]

Maya Moore entered the game on 17 January 2009 against Syracuse 29 points shy of 1,000 for her career. She would score 40 to easily surpass that mark, reaching the plateau faster than any other female in UConn history. However, the game would also be notable for a season-ending injury to starter Caroline Doty, reported at the time to be a knee injury. Doty would score 17 points before halftime, but just before halftime, she injured her knee during a fast break. It was the same knee she injured in 2007. Moore's forty points is only the second forty point performance in UConn women's history; the other is Nykesha Sales' 46 against Stamford in 1997. UConn would win the game 107-53.[19]

The following game was a highly anticipated showdown between the #1 and # 2 ranked teams in the nation. Both Connecticut and North Carolina entered the game 17-0 on the season. Connecticut had the higher ranking, but would need to replace starter Carolyn Doty. Her knee injury in the prior game would turn out to be a season-ending ACL tear. The result would be anti-climatic, as UConn reached a double-digit lead early in the game, extended to a 46-30 halftime lead, and finished with a 30 point victory, 88-58. The five starters, including Lorin Dixon in a her first start of the season, would each score in double digits, led by Renee Montgomery with 21.[20]

The next game against Cincinnati would be even more lopsided. UConn outscored the Bearcats in the first half 39-7. The seven points allowed in the first half were only one point off the school record of six in a half. While Cincinnati would outscore the Huskies in the second half 27-26, the outcome was not in doubt.[21]

The 26 January game against Louisville would pit UConn against the team they beat by only six in the previous year's Big East Tournament title game. Louisville was ranked 10th in the nation, and still had Angel McCoughtry, winner of the Big East Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year in 2007. Angle would live up to her reputation with 24 points and 14 rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as Maye Moore scored 27 to lead UConn to a 93-65 win.[22]

The next game was against unranked Georgetown. UConn would win by 19, with five players scoring in double-digits, but the game was surprisingly close, given that the average margin of victory for UConn was 34 at that point.[23] The following game was against Rutgers, a team that has often given UConn a strong challenge, winning half of the last ten meetings. Rutgers would stay close in the first half, entering the half down only six 34-28, but UConn would pull away in the second half behind a double-double by Moore (24 points, 10 rebounds).[24]

Marquette would endure another double-double by Moore(22 points, 10 rebounds), in their 83-49 loss to UConn on 7 February.[25] The following game against unranked St. John's on 11 February, started as if it would be another rout. UConn led by 15 at halftime, and increased the lead to 20. The St. John's team responded and cut the lead to seven, before UConn regrouped and finished with a 13 point victory, 77-64. Maya would contribute another double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds), while Renee Montgomery and Tina Charles each scored 21 points.[26]

The next game would be the last game of the season at Gampel Arena. The game itself would be anticlimactic, as UConn easily beat Pittsburgh 95-42. The highlight of the evening would be the induction into the Huskies of Honor for Renee Montgomery, kept a secret from her until the announcement. One of her first reactions, after the shock of the announcement, was the regret that her parents wouldn't see it, but seconds later, her parents would walk onto the floor. They had been in town, but shared the secret. Renee is the first active player at UConn to be so honored. She would go on to score a team high 20 points.[27]

On the 18th of February, Connecticut played Providence in Providence. The Huskies scored the first eleven points, and never trailed. The Huskies started the second half in even more impressive fashion, scoring the first 25 points of the half. UConn would win easily 75–39.[28]

The following game was against Notre Dame, ranked 24th at the time. The Notre Dame Irish would give Connecticut their toughest match of the year. The Irish lead most of the first half. Although UConn would go to the half with a three point lead, Notre Dame out scored UConn in the initial minutes of the second half, with a lead of 43–41 at one time. Prior to this game the Huskies had trailed for only a combined 27 minutes all season. Connecticut would retake the lead, and finished the game with a ten point margin, the closest game of the season to that date.[29]

On the 24th of February, UConn hosted Villanova. Tina Charles had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead UConn to the win 74-47.[30] Four days later, Seton Hall came to Hartford, for the last regular season game of the year. As a surprise for the departing seniors, Maya Moore and Kaili McLaren sang the national anthem. Moore then went on to score 18 points, to help lead UConn to an 81–50 win, and guarantee a share of the Big East regular-season title.[31]

On 2 March 2009, UConn played its last regular season game against rival Rutgers. UConn moved out to a 16 point halftime lead 36–20, but Rutgers out scored UConn the second half to make the final score ten points, tied for closest result of the season. The win leaves the Huskies still undefeated on the season, now 30–0.[32]

Big East Tournament

Connecticut opened the Big East Tournament against South Florida, a team it had beaten by 46 points earlier in the season. This game would be closer, but not by much. Kalana Greene led the Huskies with a season high 20 points, scoring 18 points before halftime, and leading the Huskies to a 47–10 halftime lead. USF would match the UConn production in the second half, but the 37 point margin held. The final score was 79–42.[33]

The second tournament game was against Villanova, a team UConn had beaten by 27 points less than two weeks earlier. However, the game was tied at 25 apiece, with under six minutes to go in the first half. Maya Moore then helped lead the team on a 23–2 run to put the game out of reach. The Huskies won 72–42.[34]

The final game, on 10 March, for the Big East Tournament Championship, was against Louisville, ranked #7 in the country. The Cardinals who would go on to play in the Finals of the NCAA tournament, were no match for UConn on this day. Maya Moore left the game with eight minutes to go, having scored 28 points. At that time the Louisville team had scored 27. UConn would win the game in convincing fashion, 75–36.[35]

Roster

Player stats

Player Games Played Minutes Field Goals Three Pointers Free Throws Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals Points
MooreMaya Moore 39 1209 284 90 96 348 127 59 76 754
MontgomeryRenee Montgomery 39 1237 226 99 93 82 199 9 61 644
CharlesTina Charles 39 982 259 0 124 348 41 62 35 642
GreeneKalana Greene 39 990 141 6 50 181 68 11 37 338
DotyCaroline Doty 17 406 52 30 13 57 33 4 16 147
HayesTiffany Hayes 39 1002 109 46 63 156 102 15 44 327
McLarenKaili McLaren 38 581 61 0 37 130 73 22 19 159
WilliamsTahirah Williams 33 245 33 0 22 62 22 4 9 88
DixonLorin Dixon 39 604 28 2 31 63 71 2 17 89
GardlerMeghan Gardler 32 335 19 5 15 62 21 3 12 58
FernandesJacquie Fernandes 30 141 8 3 4 17 2 0 3 23
KernsCassie Kerns 18 68 2 0 1 5 3 2 2 5
[36]

Schedule

Source[37]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance Record
Regular Season
November 16* 2:00PM GEORGIA TECH #1 Harry A. Gampel PavilionStorrs, CT CPTV W 82-71  8871 1–0
November 20* 7:00PM SAN DIEGO STATE #1 XL CenterHartford, CT CPTV W 99-55  10313 2–0
November 22* 1:05 p.m. RHODE ISLAND #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT CPTV W 91-43  10516 3–0
November 25* 7:00 PM at BYU Cougars #1 Marriott Center BYU • Provo, UT CPTV W 96-47  3109 4–0
November 30* 8:15 PM OKLAHOMA #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT ESPN W 106-78  9688 5–0
December 03* 7:30 p.m. HOLY CROSS #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT CPTV W 96-37  8312 6–0
December 14* 2:30 p.m. vs Penn State #1 Madison Square Garden • New York, NY ESPNU W 77-63  9417 7–0
December 18* 4:30 p.m. vs Washington #1 Moon Palace Resort • Cancun, Mexico W 109-51  350 8–0
December 19* 6:00 p.m. vs Northern Colorado #1 Moon Palace Resort • Cancun, Mexico CPTV W 85-40  350 9–0
December 21* 3:30 p.m. vs Florida State #1 Moon Palace Resort • Cancun, Mexico CPTV W 83-71  350 10–0
December 28* 3 p.m. at South Carolina #1 Colonial Life Arena • Columbia, SC W 77-48  5113 11–0
December 31* 12:00PM HARTFORD #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT CPTV W 78-41  12803 12–0
January 03* 12:00PM LSU #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT CBS W 76-63  13922 13–0
January 06 7:00 p.m. at USF #1 USF Sun Dome • Tampa, FL CPTV W 83-37  4290 14–0
January 10 7 p.m. at West Virginia #1 WVU Coliseum • Morgantown, WV CPTV W 85-55  3167 15–0
January 13 7:30 PM DEPAUL #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT CPTV W 77-62  8424 16–0
January 17 2:00 PM SYRACUSE #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT CPTV W 107-53  13086 17–0
January 19 7:00 PM at North Carolina #1 Smith Center • Chapel Hill, NC ESPN2 W 88-58  12722 18–0
January 24 7:00 p.m. at Cincinnati #1 Fifth Third Arena • Cincinnati, OH CPTV W 65-34  2346 19–0
January 26 7:30PM LOUISVILLE #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT ESPN2 W 93-65  9428 20–0
January 31 3 p.m. at Georgetown #1 Washington, DC CPTV W 80-61  2413 21–0
February 03 8:00 PM RUTGERS #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT CBSCS) W 75-56  12910 22–0
February 07 7 p.m. at Marquette #1 Al McGuire Center • Milwaukee, WI CPTV W 83-49  4000 23–0
February 11 7 p.m. at St. John's #1 Queens, NY CPTV W 77-64  2189 24–0
February 15 3:45 PM PITTSBURGH #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT ESPN2 W 95-42  9987 25–0
February 18 7:00 PM at Providence #1 Alumni Hall • Providence, RI CPTV W 75-39  2000 26–0
February 22 2:00 PM NOTRE DAME #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT ESPNU W 76-66  14533 27–0
February 24 7:30 PM VILLANOVA #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT CPTV W 74-47  8746 28–0
February 28 7:30 PM SETON HALL #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT CPTV W 81-50  13372 29–0
March 02 7:30 p.m. at Rutgers #1 Louis Brown Athletic Ctr • Piscataway, NJ ESPN2 W 69-59  7151 30–0
2009 Big East Women's Basketball Tournament
March 08 2:00 p.m. vs USF #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT ESPNU W 79-42  9270 31–0
March 09 6:00 p.m. vs Villanova #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT ESPNU W 72-42  32–0
March 10 7:00 p.m. vs Louisville #1 XL Center • Hartford, CT ESPN W 75-36  10030 33–0
2009 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament
March 22* 12:00 PM vs Vermont #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT ESPN2 W 104-65  34–0
March 24* 7:00 PM vs Florida #1 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion • Storrs, CT ESPN2 W 87-59  8237 35–0
March 29* 12:05pm vs California #1 Sovereign Bank Arena • Trenton, NJ ESPN W 77-53  36–0
March 31* 7:00pm vs Arizona State University #1 Sovereign Bank Arena • Trenton, NJ ESPN W 83-64  4758 37–0
April 05* 8:37 PM CT vs Stanford #1 Scottrade Center • St. Louis, MO ESPN W 83-64  18621 38–0
April 07* 7:42 PM CT vs Louisville #1 Scottrade Center • St. Louis, MO ESPN W 76-54  18478 39–0
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll.
  • On April 27, the Huskies visited the White House and met President Barack Obama. The President took the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team over to the outdoor half-court at the White House to shoot hoops.[38]

Awards and honors

Team players drafted into the WNBA

Round Pick Player NBA Club
1 4 Renee Montgomery Minnesota Lynx
[51]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/rankings
  2. ^ "2009 NCAA Women's Basketball Rankings". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  3. ^ "Mel Thomas Named To CoSIDA Women's Basketball Academic All-District I First Team". Archived from the original on 2009-06-15. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  4. ^ "http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/recaps/110608aab.html". Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  5. ^ "http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/recaps/111208aaa.html". Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  6. ^ "http://scores.espn.go.com/ncw/recap?gameId=283210041". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  7. ^ "UConn Huskies Women's Basketball". Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  8. ^ "http://scores.espn.go.com/ncw/recap?gameId=283350041". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  9. ^ "Doty extends school-record streak of made 3-pointers to 10 in UConn romp". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  10. ^ "College Basketball Roundup: No. 1 UConn women top Penn State, 77-63". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 15, 2008. Retrieved 19 Sep 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/sched/conn-w-baskbl-sched.html
  12. ^ "UConn improves to 11-0 for third straight year with win over South Carolina". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  13. ^ "Montgomery scores 20 as UConn rolls". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  14. ^ "Montgomery's six assists lead her into exclusive company". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  15. ^ "CollegeRPI.com". Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  16. ^ "Charles, Moore spark UConn rout of South Florida". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  17. ^ "Montgomery's 28 points help UConn improve to 20-1 vs. WVU". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  18. ^ "Moore just 29 points short of 1,000 as UConn tops DePaul". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  19. ^ "Moore scores 40, including 1,000th point; Doty injures knee". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  20. ^ "Montgomery, Moore lead the way in UConn's rout". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  21. ^ "No. 1 Connecticut has no letdown after routing UNC, taking care of Cincinnati". Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  22. ^ "Top-ranked UConn cruises to 20-0 record". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  23. ^ "No. 1 Huskies pull away to remain undefeated". Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  24. ^ "Dominant Connecticut blows out Rutgers". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  25. ^ "Moore has 22 points, 10 rebounds as Huskies rout Golden Eagles". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  26. ^ "UConn tops St. John's to stay unbeaten". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  27. ^ "Montgomery helps UConn dismantle Pittsburgh after being honored". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  28. ^ "UConn never trails after opening with 11-0 run". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  29. ^ "Montgomery leads No. 1 UConn to another home triumph". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  30. ^ "Charles scores 19 to lead UConn to rout of Villanova". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  31. ^ "Huskies wrap up share of Big East regular-season title". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  32. ^ "Montgomery leads way as No. 1 UConn undefeated for first time since '02-'03". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  33. ^ "Greene, Moore have double-doubles as Huskies rout South Florida". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  34. ^ "Moore's 17 points lead UConn to Big East finals". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  35. ^ "Huskies rout Cardinals to win 15th Big East tourney championship". ESPN. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  36. ^ http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/stats/2008-2009/teamcume.html
  37. ^ "Connecticut Women's Basketball". University of Connecticut. Retrieved 5 Jan 2013. 
  38. ^ http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/042709aad.html
  39. ^ http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/050609aaa.html
  40. ^ http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2009/03/ncaa-tournament-mvp-most-outstanding-player-mop-men-women-march-madness/
  41. ^ a b http://woodenaward.cstv.com/ot/09-w-baskbl-all-american.html
  42. ^ "ESPN". Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  43. ^ "Big East press release". Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  44. ^ "UConn Press release". Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  45. ^ http://www.naismithawards.com/History/NaismithTrophy/tabid/58/Default.aspx
  46. ^ "Past WBCA NCAA DI Coaches' All-America Teams". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 3 Jul 2014. 
  47. ^ "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 30 Jun 2014. 
  48. ^ "USBWA Press release". Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  49. ^ "UConn Press Release". Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  50. ^ http://woodenaward.cstv.com/ot/award-winners.html
  51. ^ http://www.wnba.com/draft2009/draft_board.html

External links

  • Official Site
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