Cavs Lose at Home to No. 6 Connecticut
Dec. 18, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Geno Auriemma came back to new-look Virginia on Monday night but brought his same old No. 6 Connecticut women’s team with him, unleashing them on former boss Debbie Ryan’s Cavaliers for a 96-60 victory.
Kalana Greene scored 21 points to lead Connecticut. She had 11 during a 25-9 run to open the second half as the Huskies turned a 13-point game into a runaway.
The Huskies (7-0), playing for the first time since they blitzed Georgetown 84-26 on Dec. 7, ran a virtual passing clinic and layup drill for much of the night, shooting 66 percent while showing time and again how an extra pass leads to an easy basket.
The Cavaliers (8-3) lost for the second time in seven games in the $130 million John Paul Jones Arena, which opened this year. They lost last month to Liberty.
Virginia shot just 27 percent and had nine shots blocked by the taller Huskies.
Renee Montgomery added 17 points and nine assists for Connecticut.
The game was a homecoming for sorts for Auriemma, who was an assistant to Ryan from 1981-85, and for Huskies assistant Tonya Cordoza, who starred on the Cavaliers team that beat Auriemma’s Huskies in 1991 to put Virginia in the NCAA championship game.
But a lot has changed since then, with Auriemma building a five-time national champion while Ryan, in her 31st year, has seen her program lose its perennial Top 25 status. The Cavaliers have missed the NCAA tournament in two of the last three years.
The difference was apparent from the start in the fifth meeting of the coaches and first since 1995, when the Huskies won to even the record in the series at 2-2.
Connecticut scored nine points in a row to take a 13-5 lead after just 3 1/2 minutes and never led by less than five thereafter. It led 70-41 after the burst to begin the second half, and even then the Huskies didn’t stop scrapping for loose balls.