Connecticut Huskies vs North Carolina

Photographs of UConn Women vs North Carolina basketball

The sellout crowd of Connecticut Husky fanatics were treated to Final Four type slugfest at the Gampel Pavilion on Monday January 21st. This was an epic battle between #1 UConn (18-0) and the #3 North Carolina (17-2). Although the Huskies won this one 82-71 the Tar Heels did not go down easily. The Huskies overcame a North Carolina 11-point halftime lead to win the game. The 11 points ties for the second-biggest halftime gap ever overcome to win a game by UConn under Geno Auriemma, a feat last accomplished by the Huskies at St. John’s in 1992. The Huskies, playing without 3 key players - Thomas & Greene out for the season and hunter nursing her knee - quickly fell behind 8-0 at the start of the game. With clutch shooting from both teams the Huskies managed to reduce the deficit to 3 six minutes into the game. By the intermission though the Tar Heels had opened an 11 point margin. Uconn shot only 29 percent (12 or 41) in the 1st half. Five minutes into the second half Rene Montgomery nailed a three to give UConn its first lead in the game. It was a seesaw battle after that. After UNC retook the lead at 49-48 on the next possession, Moore hit a three from the same spot at the top of the key that Montgomery had just hit from to put UConn back on top 51-49. With the game tied at 51-51, Houston scored three straight baskets from the same spot under the basket in a 42 second span to give the Huskies a six-point edge at 57-51. The Tar Heels were far from finished though. North Carolina would tie the score again at 59-59. Montgomery's runner in the lane put UConn back on top. That basket started a quick 6-0 mini-run for UConn. Ketia Swanier's steal on the next Tar Heel possession led to a Charles hoop at 9:17. The next possession saw Houston power her way to the hoop for two points and a 65-59 UConn lead. North Carolina fought back scoring the next 10 points as they retook the lead to 69-65. UConn followed that run with a 9-0 burst of its own, capped by a Charles block which led to a Moore three at 3:40 that gave the Huskies a five-point advantage at 74-69, a lead they would not relinquish. The Huskies held a 76-71 lead after Houston banked one in off the glass at 2:36 and neither team would score again for almost two minutes under a barrage of steals. North Carolina was forced to foul and the Huskies responded by making them count and held UNC without a bucket to account for the 82-71 final score. Worth noting since 1995 North Carolina is the only team with a winning record against the Huskies. The following photographs are all Copyright 2008 Jerry Molaver

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