HARTFORD, Conn. — No. 89 came and went as effortlessly as nearly all their previous games. This season. Last season. And the season before.
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, never at a loss for words, was close Tuesday night.
"It's pretty amazing. It really is," he said.
No exaggeration there.
His No. 1-ranked Huskies topped the 88-game winning streak set by John Wooden's UCLA men's team from 1971 to 1974, beating No. 22 Florida State 93-62. Playing with the relentlessness that has become its trademark, UConn blew past the Seminoles as it has so many other teams in the last 2½ years.
"I don't want my team to compare themselves to anyone," Auriemma said. "I'm not John Wooden and this isn't UCLA. This is Connecticut, and that's good enough."
Maya Moore had a career-high 41 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Bria Hartley added 21 points for the Huskies, who have not lost since April 6, 2008, in the NCAA Tournament semifinals at the St. Pete Times Forum. Only twice during the record run has a team come within single digits of UConn — Stanford in the NCAA championship game last season and Baylor in early November.
When the final buzzer sounded, UConn players sprinted across the floor to shake hands with the student section as fans held up "89" signs and "89" balloons bobbed in the stands behind center court.
Asked what he would recall from the run, Auriemma mentioned a pair of experienced stars on this team: "I'll probably remember Maya Moore and Tiffany Hayes. And how incredibly difficult it is to play that many games in a row and win 'em all."
Connecticut long ago established itself as the marquee program in the women's game. The Huskies own seven national titles and four perfect seasons under Auriemma.
Two days after beating No. 11 Ohio State to tie UCLA, UConn toppled the major college basketball mark in front of a sellout 16,294 that included Wooden's grandson, Greg.
"My grandfather would have been thrilled. He would have been absolutely thrilled to see his streak broken by a women's basketball team," the 47-year-old Wooden said. John Wooden was 99 when he died June 4.
"Obviously, they've had tremendous success," said Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, a longtime rival of Auriemma. "They know how to win. To break that record is amazing."
With the score tied at 6, Moore and UConn (11-0) took command. The All-American had seven points during a 15-2 run to give Connecticut its first double-digit lead, and Moore's fadeaway jumper from the baseline extended the advantage to 34-15. Florida State (9-3) made a quick run to cut the lead to 11, but the Huskies weren't about to let anyone spoil this night.
UConn ripped off the next 16 points, capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Hartley and a pull-up by Moore. At halftime, it was Florida State 27, Moore 26.
With the game in hand, Moore kept pushing. She hustled for rebounds and dove for loose balls.
With a minute left, Moore whirled a towel around her head. She tossed it up briefly before sitting down for the final seconds.
"You take those 41 away and it's a little better ball game," FSU coach Sue Semrau said of Moore. "She's as tough as nails."
FSU was led by Cierra Bravard's 19 points.
The Huskies have beaten 16 top 10 teams during the latest streak, and five of those wins came against the No. 2 team. It's been more than 17 years since UConn lost consecutive games.
"I didn't think that it would be possible," Semrau said of the streak. "… But I've watched Geno grow his program and the job that he's done, and I'm not surprised it's Connecticut."