Dec. 5, 2010: Mayan Empire. Charles' Mark Falls; Huskies Two Away From UCLA's Record

The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD -- There was no announcement, no stoppage in play or ceremony. When it comes to Maya Moore and UConn's fans, formality is not really necessary.

Just about every one of the 10,223 at the XL Center knew just where Moore was on UConn's career scoring list, and when she made the short jumper, true as could be, to surpass Tina Charles the building erupted in cheers.

"That was special," said Moore, who went on to score 17 points in the Huskies' 86-32 victory over Sacred Heart on Sunday. "That's why I love Connecticut so much. It's great that this could happen here."

It was the Huskies' 86th consecutive win. They are 8-0 this year, and need two more to tie the NCAA basketball record held by UCLA's men since 1974, and they go for No. 87 at Gampel Pavilion Thursday night against Marquette.

Moore was a bit off in the last game, scoring 14 points and hitting only 1 of 8 field goals at South Florida. But on Sunday she was dead on, hitting her first eight shots, finishing 8-for-9. The jumper with 12:42 left in the first half gave UConn a 23-5 lead, and gave Moore 2,348 points, two more than Charles. Moore has 2,355 and could have as many as 31 games left in her career.

"It was just so glad to be on the floor when she did it," said Tiffany Hayes, who led UConn with 18 points. "That just made me even more proud. I took a picture when we got back to the locker room so we can remember the moment forever."

Next time down the floor, Moore scored again, and a little later she made a pretty pass to Hayes under the basket, one of her five assists.

"The crowd should get one of my assists," Moore said.

Charles, who scored 2,346 points, broke the record last year - and Moore broke it on Charles' 22nd birthday.

"Tina sent a message to [associate head coach Chris Dailey]," Moore said. "She said I can break the scoring record, but I am not allowed to get any more rebounds."

Charles has few worries there; Moore has 1,021, but but needs 346 to tie Charles' rebounding mark.

UConn's long postseason runs have given Moore the maximum games to play and pile up points, but the frequent blowout victories also prompt coach Geno Auriemma to limit her minutes. Moore played 21 minutes on Sunday.

But she is averaging 23.4 points a game this season, and could challenge the 3,000-point mark.

"To be in a position to do something like this is incredible," Auriemma said, "because she's done it in a limited number of minutes. The great thing is, she has been able to do it while helping us win. That's a lot better than scoring the most points and looking back and wishing your team had won more championships."

The Huskies hit 20 of their first 25 shots, and outrebounded Sacred Heart 26-3 in the first half, after which UConn led, 57-16. The Huskies had 24 assists in the game, their ball movement creating open shots, and they shot 58.9 percent.

"When you can move the ball like that, side to side, everybody's touching it, that's the most fun way to play," Moore said.

Callan Taylor led the Pioneers (3-4) with 11 points. Auriemma, who arrived at UConn in 1985, has never lost in 26 games against state opponents. Fairfield's win over UConn in December 1983 was the last time it happened.

"They bring so much defensive energy, it takes you out of anything you want to do," Sacred Heart coach Ed Swanson said. "We put our kids in tough positions, but you hope it helps develop some of that toughness."

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