Notebook: Huskies shooting the lights out as they head to Sweet 16
Norfolk, Va. - Kelly Faris had the ball on the left wing on Tuesday night, behind the 3-point arc where she had already connected. Only this time she waited for the defender to fly by, took a few steps forward and banked in a shot to give UConn a 46-11 lead.
It didn't seem like UConn could miss in the 90-36 victory over Temple in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It surprised even the Huskies a little bit.
"As a team, definitely it was a great surprise," said UConn All-American Maya Moore, who actually didn't miss, finishing 6-for-6, 3-for-3 from 3-point range, for a game-high 19 points in 16 minutes.
"You go in hoping you're going to hit every shot, but don't really believe you're going to hit every shot. At a point there, we thought every shot was going in. You don't really get to experience that often. It was a pleasant surprise."
UConn, the top seed in the Dayton Regional, will meet No. 4 Iowa State (25-7) beginning at 12:04 p.m. Sunday in Dayton (ESPN). Iowa State defeated No. 12 Wisconsin-Green Bay 60-56 on Tuesday. The other two teams in the regional, No. 3 Florida State (28-5) and No. 7 Mississippi State (21-12), will play at 2:32 p.m.
UConn, 35-0 with an NCAA record 74-game winning streak, is attempting to become the only team in women's basketball history to record back-to-back unbeaten seasons. The Huskies won the national championship last year in St. Louis.
The Huskies are making their 17th straight Sweet 16 appearance, perhaps the thing that amazes UConn coach Geno Auriemma the most, the way Moore was amazed the way the shots were falling on Tuesday.
"That's probably the one thing when I do look back on things that through the years we've been able to sustain it at a real high level through a bunch of players and still wind up putting ourselves in a position to compete for a national championship," Auriemma said.
"It's not easy. For us to be able to do it over and over and over again, it's the consistency I'm probably the most proud of."
• Temple coach Tonya Cardoza, while an assistant coach at UConn for 14 years, developed a strong relationship with the UConn players, many of whom she also had a hand in recruiting.
Cardoza was asked if she felt like she still had a stamp on the program.
"Most definitely. If we can't win, I'm always rooting for them," Cardoza said after the game. "I love those guys. Those guys are always gonna be my family. I feel like I do have a stamp on them.
"Kalana (Greene) is one of the kids I recruited heavily. Tiffany, Caroline and Lorin are all still my kids. Of course I'm proud of what they accomplished and I wish them well. I hope they win it all."
Happy birthday, dear Geno
• Tuesday marked Auriemma's 56th birthday and he was asked how his day went.
Auriemma joked about a pair of cards he received, one from his wife Kathy.
"She looked all over the gift shop in the hotel," he said with a laugh. "She was very disappointed when I got one from the players and they got the same card. They shopped at the same store."
• UConn senior center Tina Charles, a candidate for every major national player of the year award, finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes. Charles added to her program records in points (2,280) and rebounds (1,322).