NEW YORK — After win No. 88 in a row was in the books, Geno Auriemma finally let loose: He thinks some people are rooting against his record-setting players because of their gender.
"I just know there wouldn't be this many people in the room if we were chasing a woman's record," the Connecticut coach said Sunday near the end of his postgame news conference. "The reason everybody is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men's record, and everybody is all up in arms about it."
Already with no equal in women's basketball, UConn (10-0) won its 88th straight game Sunday to match UCLA's men's mark set from 1971-74. Tiffany Hayes had 26 points and Maya Moore 22 to help the top-ranked Huskies rout No. 11 Ohio State (8-2) 81-50 in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
"All the women are happy as hell and they can't wait to come in here and ask questions. All the guys that loved women's basketball are all excited, and all the miserable (people) that follow men's basketball and don't want us to break the record are all here because they are (ticked)," Auriemma said.
The Huskies can surpass UCLA Tuesday night at home against No. 15 Florida State.
Connecticut matched the Bruins' mark before a crowd of 15,232, second biggest for a women's game at Madison Square Garden. With 40 seconds left, the fans rose and chanted "88! 88!"
NO. 6 TENN. 82, NO. 3 STANFORD 72, OT: Meighan Simmons had 23 points, including a 3-pointer to force overtime, and the host Vols (10-2) used free throws to pull away from the Cardinal (6-2) and deny coach Tara VanDerveer her 800th career win.
NO. 8 TEXAS A&M 79, RUTGERS 50: Danielle Adams had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Aggies (9-1) in the Maggie Dixon Classic.
NO. 10 UNC 75, S. CAROLINA 51: Jessica Breland had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Tar Heels (11-0).
ARKANSAS 67, NO. 12 OKLA. 57: C'eira Ricketts had 21 points for the host Razorbacks, who used a late 10-0 run to take the lead for good against the Sooners (9-2).
NO. 18 ST. JOHN'S 56, UCSB 47: Shenneika Smith had 15 points, including 10 straight in the second half for the host Red Storm (10-1) that helped it pull away.
NO. 19 MARYLAND 79, DELAWARE ST. 49: Alyssa Thomas scored 17 and the visiting Terps (10-1) won their ninth straight.
NO. 20 GEORGETOWN 72, MISSOURI ST. 59: Sugar Rodgers shook off foul trouble to score 18 of her 20 in the second half for the host Hoyas (9-3).
NO. 25 BC 85, NC WILMINGTON 55: Kerri Shields had eight of her 18 points during a 23-0 run to end the first half, and the host Eagles (11-0) extended their best start.
COACH HITS 800: Barbara Stevens of Division II Bently University in Waltham, Mass., became the fifth women's coach to reach 800 victories when the host Falcons beat C.W. Post 93-60.
USF 61, SMU 55: Twins Andrell and Andrea Smith scored 13 points each, and Andrell added 12 rebounds as the Bulls (9-4) won their fourth straight game at the BTI Classic in Las Vegas. USF closes out the event against Texas at 8 tonight.
TAMPA 70, INDIANAPOLIS 53: Taja Green had a career-high 27 points and added 10 rebounds to lead the Spartans (7-2) at the Florida Southern Holiday Inn South Classic in Lakeland.
NO. 24 NOTRE DAME 88, STONY BROOK 62: Tim Abromaitis had 22 points for the host Irish (10-1).
TAMPA 88, TENN. TEMPLE 69: Anthony Griffis had 20 points for the host Spartans, 10-0 for the fourth time in their 48 seasons.
ECKERD 100, TALLADEGA 66: Dale Carn had a career-high 26 points as the host Tritons (10-1) won their ninth straight game.