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UConn woman march on towards 100. SMU and South Carolina on deck in Storrs.

POSTED February 10, 2017
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: It’s going to be an interesting next couple of games for the University of Connecticut woman’s basketball team as they make their way towards their 100th consecutive win, a ridiculous number that defies everything we know about sports.

Yeah, I know. I hear it all the time when folks scoff at the continued winning and winning by large margins, especially against a very weak American Athletic Conference that has yet to find a way to come out on the correct side of a final score against the Huskies.

It doesn’t though, take away from a program that has now won 98 in a row. That’s not a streak, it’s a marathon of dominant proportions. The likes we may never see again.

The Huskies will be home on Saturday at Gampel Pavilion to take on SMU before the game everybody is looking at as the last chance before the post season for any team to knock off the top ranked team in the land when they battle the number three ranked South Carolina Gamecocks at 9 p.m.

You have to feel for the Mustangs on Saturday as the Huskies will be looking to sharpen their game (possible?) in anticipation of Monday night’s national game.

UConn beat SMU 88-48 on January 14 and have beaten AAC teams by an average of 43.7 points per game this season.

While those scores look, and are ridiculous numbers, there is still that feeling that this team can be beat, which in itself is a remarkable sentiment.

Of course, teams are supposed to be able to be beaten. That’s how high the bar has been set for head coach Geno Auriemma’s teams. The mere thought of being beaten is sometimes unimaginable, especially to the Huskie faithful.

This is not a deep team but there aren’t always teams that go deeper than six or seven long, take the team that won the National Championship in 2013/2014 with just seven scholarship players.

Sure, some on them were named Dolson, Hartley, Jefferson and Stewart but they still did not have a deep bench.

This season’s group doesn’t have a whole lot of room for too many things to go wrong on any given night when they face the best in the nation that don’t reside in Storrs.

Katie Lou Samuelson, Naphessa Collier, Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams are developing into one astounding unit but put two of them on the bench at critical times with four trouble and throw in a poor shooting night against an opponent that gets real hot and who knows?

Granted, Saniya Chong and Natalie Butler have chipped in with good stretches this year, especially Chong who has had her best and healthiest season in her career this year but after that there isn’t much more.

Expect the Huskies to run the table in the AAC the remainder of the regular season and in the AAC Tournament in early March at Mohegan Sun.

If they take care of the Gamecocks, their record streak entering the NCAA Tournament will stand at 107 straight.

The early rounds of the tournament will be in Connecticut, the first two rounds in Storrs, the next two in Bridgeport.

Is the goal of five straight National Championships still viable?

Sure, until somebody proves they can beat this team in a big spot, something that has not happened in the last 98 tries.




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