This Day In Sports: UConn’s stunning streak hits the century mark

February 13, 2017: The unstoppable Connecticut women’s basketball team hits the century mark, winning its 100th consecutive game in a 66-55 win over sixth-ranked South Carolina. The top-ranked Huskies had not lost since an overtime defeat at Stanford in November, 2014.UConn’s average margin of victory in those 100 wins was 38.4 points. At that point, the Huskies had won four straight national championships and 11 overall under coach Geno Auriemma. Before Auriemma arrived at the school in 1985, Connecticut didn’t even have 100 victories total in its women’s hoops history and had notched just one winning season.

The streak, already longer than the men’s record of 88 games set by UCLA from 1971-74, reached 111 games before it ended. Auriemma and the Huskies had actually already topped the Bruins’ run in 2010 when they finished a 90-game streak, and earlier had won 70 straight games from 2001-03. Auriemma went 12-15 in his first year and has not had a losing season since. He’s had six undefeated seasons and has not missed the NCAA Tournament in 35 years. Auriemma has captured eight Naismith National Coach of the Year awards, plus two Olympic gold medals and two world championships as coach of the U.S. women’s national team from 2009-16.

To put UConn’s dominance in perspective, just last week the Huskies lost back-to-back games for the first time in 30 years when they fell to No. 1 South Carolina and unranked Marquette. It was the first time the Golden Eagles had ever defeated UConn. The Huskies righted the ship Saturday with a 67-59 win over Georgetown. More perspective: Auriemma’s career record at UConn is 1,117-154.

Does Geno have a heart? I’d say yes. This was a controversial story in 1998. UConn senior Nykesha Sales was on the cusp of breaking the school career scoring record when she ruptured her Achilles tendon against Notre Dame in the second-to-last game of the season. Sales was two points short of the mark. So Auriemma worked it out with Villanova to let the Huskies to win the tip in the season finale and pass the ball to Sales, stationed under the basket. After she laid it in, UConn allowed an uncontested lay-in by the Wildcats at the other end to even things up. As they say: no harm, no foul—and great moment.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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