Huskies Extend Streak, Survive BC Scare, 83-75

Feb 8, 2003

AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) - Diana Taurasi scored 22 points despite playing most of the second half with four fouls, helping top-ranked Connecticut survive a scare and beat No. 23 Boston College 83-75 Saturday for its 61st consecutive win.

Barbara Turner had 18 points and nine rebounds for UConn (22-0, 9-0 Big East) before fouling out in the final minute. She scored seven points in the final 10:06 as the Huskies, who led by as many as 16 in the first half, held back a late rally by BC.

Becky Gottstein's 19 points and eight rebounds and Clare Droesch's 17 points and eight rebounds led BC (15-6, 7-3). Jessalyn Deveny had 12 points, 10 assists and five rebounds for the Eagles.

With a sold-out crowd of 8,606 evenly split between the home team and the nearby national champions, UConn extended its women's-record winning streak.

And it's now the second-best in NCAA basketball history. The UCLA men's team won 88 in a row in the Bill Walton era from 1971-74; Bill Russell's San Francisco team won 60 in a row from 1955-57.

UConn scored 16 consecutive points to take a 20-4 lead and led 27-11 with 9:02 left in the first half. It was 39-27 at the break and 54-46 midway through the second half when Taurasi picked up consecutive charging fouls, forcing her to the bench.

UConn led 61-52 with 8:15 left before BC scored nine consecutive points to tie it for the first time since it was 4-4. Deveny hit a basket, Droesch hit a 3-pointer, and after Turner missed the front end of a one-and-one, Droesch hit a baby hook from four feet and Gottstein scored from the lane to make it 61-all with 5:10 left.

But Taurasi converted a three-point play - her first points since she picked up her fourth foul - and Ashley Battle scored on a steal and breakaway to restore UConn's cushion. It was 72-69 with 2:40 left when Gottstein picked up her fifth foul. Turner made two free throws, and Taurasi hit a turnaround in the lane, and BC never got within five points again.

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Diana Taurasi and the Huskies' 61-game winning streak trails only Bill Walton's UCLA teams of the early 70's that won 88 straight.