The last time the UConn women’s basketball team lost a game I was still single and the White House is still Obama’s stomping grounds.
In this “rebuilding” season for UConn women’s basketball comes a milestone never before achieved in major collegiate or professional sports.
The perennial power Huskies, supposedly vulnerable after three senior departures, pushed their record win streak into the triple digits after disposing of No. 6 South Carolina 66-55 Monday for a 100th consecutive victory. No other basketball program in NCAA history, men or women, has won more than 88 in a row.
UConn has done it twice.
A previous 90-game win streak surpassed the 1971-74 UCLA men’s team’s record, which for more than 40 years stood as the crown jewel of collegiate athletic accomplishments.
When the Huskies finally lost to Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014, they started anew — and haven’t slowed down since.
In fact, if not for the 88-86 overtime loss to the Cardinal, UConn might be riding a 148-game win streak and counting.
The remarkable run, spanning parts of three seasons, has continued despite the losses of four-year starters Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck, who led the Huskies to a fourth consecutive national championship last season then went 1-2-3 in the WNBA draft.
In their place, coach Geno Auriemma’s never-depleted crop of standout recruits have stepped up, with juniors Gabby Williams and Kia Nurse and sophomores Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier averaging double figures in points this season.
Williams had a double-double Monday with 26 points — a career high — and 14 rebounds, while Collier fell one rebound short (18 points, nine boards) of joining her.
All the while Samuelson, UConn’s leading scorer (21.4 points per game), shot 2-for-12 from the field for a season-low six points.
South Carolina, which entered 21-2 on the season, likely stands as the toughest opponent UConn (25-0) will face until the NCAA Tournament.
By that time, the streak could reach 113 wins with a fifth straight national title.
For good measure, here are a few more eye-popping facts and figures from UConn’s current run:
0-14: South Carolina’s all-time record playing AP No. 1 teams
2: Number of wins decided by single digits (both on the road this season: 78-76 vs. Florida State on Nov. 14; 87-81 vs. Maryland on Dec. 29)
9: Number of wins by 60 points or more
10: Number of losses (at least) by every men’s Division I team since UConn’s last defeat
18: Different players to appear in a game for the Huskies
38.4: Average margin of victory in all 100 games during the streak
83: Games led by double digits at halftime