Greene injured in UConn's rout of South Carolina

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Renee Montgomery was in tears and Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma was somber despite the Huskies' easy win.

Tina Charles had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Ketia Swanier added 15 points in No. 2 UConn's 97-39 victory over South Carolina on Monday night.

However, Connecticut lost starting forward Kalana Greene with what team officials called a severe knee injury. Greene, the Huskies' best defensive player, was hurt while driving the right side of the lane for a layup with 2:44 left in the first half and UConn leading 35-18.

She planted for the shot and her right knee slid out from under her as she collided with South Carolina's Demetress Adams. Greene remained on the floor for several minutes writhing in pain, and had to be helped from the floor. She was taken to a local hospital for an MRI.

"I didn't really think she was hurt or realize it until she wouldn't get up and she was grabbing her knee," Swanier said. "It didn't really hit home until after the game."

Auriemma said it was clear to doctors that there was significant ligament damage.

Greene, who is from Saint Stephens, S.C., had been averaging 8.6 points and just over 5 rebounds per game. She already had six points and four rebounds against the Gamecocks, who had recruited her heavily.

UConn, which is 8-0 for the 11th time since the 1994-95 season, is hoping to challenge for a national championship. Before the season, Auriemma said his team depth would allow them to do that even if they lost a cog along the way.

On Monday, he wasn't so sure.

"As much as you'd like to think you can, it's not easy to pull a player that athletic out of the air," Auriemma said.

Greene likely will be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Maya Moore, who scored 10 points and has reached double figures in each of the Huskies' games. Charde Houston and Swanier also are likely to see more time.

"I don't think anybody's going to be crying for us," Auriemma said. "I think they'll be crying for Kalana, but I don't think anyone is going to feel sorry for us that we are going to slip Maya Moore into Kalana Greene's spot. But obviously, it changes things."

The Huskies held the Gamecocks (7-3) to just one field goal in the final 11 minutes.

South Carolina was led by Ilona Burgrova and Adams, who each scored nine. Adams, who came in averaging almost 14 points, fouled out with 10:52 left in the game.

Connecticut never trailed, scoring the first eight points of the game.

Two quick fouls by South Carolina forward Lakesha Tolliver opened up the Huskies' inside game. Tolliver came in averaging over 11 points and six rebounds a game, but played just 14 minutes, scoring five points.

Both teams showed some rust after not playing for 1 1/2 weeks during exams. The Huskies hit just seven of their first 21 shots and South Carolina was just 2-of-12 to start the game.

The Gamecocks shot just 21 percent from the field.

"We are trying to get our younger players a little more experience," South Carolina coach Susan Walvius said. "I think we'll be an NCAA team when it's all said and done."

South Carolina held the Huskies without a field goal for 3 minutes midway through the half and trailed just 22-14 after Adams hit two free throws. But the Huskies went on a 21-5 run to close the half up 43-19.

The Gamecocks scored first after intermission, but UConn responded with a 14-0 and the rout was on.

UConn, which came in shooting just 55 percent from the line, hit 13 of 15 foul shots. The Huskies also had seven blocks, five from Moore.