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College basketball

UConn pulls within two of best win streak (55)

©Associated Press
January 13, 2003

STORRS, Conn. -- Diana Taurasi had a lot of help Sunday as No. 3 Connecticut extended its winning streak to 53 games.

The junior All-American, who has carried the offensive load this season, scored 18 in a 69-57 win over Virginia Tech (10-4). Three other Huskies, including two freshmen, were in double figures.

"I think today everyone felt comfortable, getting the ball, being aggressive with it and at the same time looking for other people," Taurasi said.

The victory moved UConn within two wins of making history. UConn (14-0) has the nation's longest active winning streak and needs a win at Seton Hall Wednesday to match Louisiana Tech's (54) record set in 1980-82.

NO. 2 LSU 71, MISS. 54: Freshman Seimone Augustus scored 20 as the Tigers won their 14th straight, matching the school's best start set in 1996-97. Carletta Brown led Mississippi with 18 points. The Rebels (11-3) are 0-5 in SEC road openers under coach Ron Aldy.

NO. 5 TENN. 81, AUBURN 72: Kara Lawson made six 3-pointers and scored 20 to lead the host Vols (11-3) and give coach Pat Summitt win No. 799. With a win Tuesday against DePaul, she will join five men as the only college basketball coaches with 800. The Tigers (12-3) pulled to 50-49 with about 13 minutes left, but never led.

NO. 7 PURDUE 69, MICHIGAN 52: Lindsey Hicks scored 16 for the host Boilermakers (13-2). Michigan (9-5) was sloppy early, either dropping passes or watching them fly out of bounds, which led to 12 first-half turnovers. Purdue scored 16 off turnovers in the first half.

NO. 9 MINNESOTA 94, IOWA 65: Lindsay Whalen had 23 points and 11 assists for the host Gophers (14-1). Johanna Solverson scored 19 to lead Iowa (8-5), which missed nine straight and had six turnovers before scoring its first basket.

NO. 10 UNC 74, FSU 53: Coretta Brown scored 28 as the visiting Tar Heels extended their winning streak to 11. Brown scored nine in a 17-3 run late in the first half that put the Tar Heels (14-1) up 33-27 at the break. She also started and capped a 20-4 spurt to open the second half with a pair of 3-pointers. Tasheika Morris led the Seminoles (10-4) with 14 points and was the only Florida State player in double figures.

NO. 11 ARK. 67, NO. 13 S.C. 58: Dana Cherry and Ruby Vaden each scored 14 to lead the host Razorbacks (14-2) and give coach Gary Blair his 400th win. Jocelyn Penn had 19 points and 13 rebounds for South Carolina (13-2), which had four fouls under its basket in the final minute.

NO. 14 MISS ST. 78, NO. 14 VANDY 75: LaToya Thomas scored 28, including two free throws with 12 seconds left, to lead the host Bulldogs. Mississippi State (12-3) and Vanderbilt (10-4) exchanged the lead 13 times and tied 17 throughout. Jenni Benningfield had 20 points and 15 rebounds for Vandy.

NO. 17 PENN ST. 79, N'WESTERN 63: Kelly Mazzante scored 31 to lead the visiting Nittany Lions (13-3). Sarah Kwasinski led Northwestern (6-9) with 16 points and seven rebounds. Penn State tightened its defense in the second half and led 59-38 with 10 minutes left.

INDIANA 54, NO. 23 OSU 50: Jenny DeMuth scored 21 and the host Hoosiers limited Ohio State (11-3) to nine points in the final nine minutes. The Hoosiers (9-4) fell behind 41-31 with 9:01 left but rallied after a timeout behind Lisa Eckart's back-to-back 3s.

State

UGA 105, UF 62: Kara Braxton scored a game-high 22 as the visiting Bulldogs (10-4) handed the Gators their worst loss in the 40-game series. Tamia Williams scored 14 to lead UF, which was missing two backups. Guard Tara Taylor and center Trish Patterson were suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.

UAB 73, USF 71: Aiya Shepard missed a tying free throw with five seconds left for the visiting Bulls (5-9). Jen Kline's foul on Michelle Smith sealed it for the Blazers (5-9). Shepard scored 22 for USF, which had a season-low 10 turnovers.

-- Times correspondent Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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