UConn's home streak finally ends

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The empty look on Geno Auriemma's face

said it all.

"I've never seen anything quite like this in my life," the

Connecticut coach said after Jessica Foley's 3-pointer at the

buzzer gave No. 4 Duke a stunning victory over the top-ranked

Huskies on Saturday.

Foley's clutch shot and Alana Beard's 20 second-half points

rallied the Blue Devils to a 68-67 win -- snapping the Huskies'

69-game home winning streak, an NCAA record they share with


Tennessee handed UConn its last home loss, 72-71 on Feb. 2,

2000. Connecticut (9-1) had won 15 straight overall, dating to a

loss to Villanova last season in the Big East tournament

championship game.

Diana Taurasi, who led the Huskies with 16 points, hit a running

jumper over Beard with 4.7 seconds left to give her team a 67-65


But Duke's Lindsay Harding grabbed the inbounds pass and dished

to Foley, who hit the winner from the right wing over UConn's Ann


Foley was mobbed by her teammates as she lay on the floor after

the shot, and the sellout crowd of 16,294 stood in silent


"This is just amazing," Foley said. "I don't think I'll ever

have a shot like that again in my career. I didn't even feel like I

was in my body. It's the sort of thing you dream about."

Foley's basket capped an 18-3 Blue Devils rally over the final

four minutes. The Huskies led by as many as 20 points in the first

half, but wilted under Duke's full-court pressure, turning the ball

over repeatedly in the closing minutes. Duke (10-1) outscored UConn

52-30 in the second half.

"We got outplayed for basically the first 35 minutes of the

game," Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. "Coming back against a

great team like Connecticut is something very difficult to do."

The game was similar to UConn's 77-65 win over Duke last season

at Cameron Indoor Stadium. In that game, the Blue Devils outscored

UConn 30-11 in the second half but fell short. Goestenkors' squad

wasn't about to let it happen again.

"Last year, they were just happy to make a comeback," she

said. "This year, that wasn't the case."

Down by 14 points in the final four minutes, the Blue Devils put

on a furious press and turned UConn over seven times down the

stretch to take control. The Huskies committed 19 turnovers.

Beard finished with five of Duke's 12 steals. She scored all but

one of her points in the second half and had 11 in the final four

minutes. Beard said she didn't let her 0-for-7 shooting performance

in the first half bother her.

"I knew it was going to be a different story in the second

half," she said. "I'm a shooter and I'm going to continue to


Beard's jumper off a steal by Iciss Tillis tied it at 65 with

40.2 seconds left.

Taurasi and her fellow seniors had never lost at home.

"It's really tough," she said. "Whenever you're up 20 and

then all of a sudden you just give it away ... it's definitely

stunning. We have practice on Monday and we'll start all over


The loss also marks the largest lead UConn has squandered under

Auriemma in his 19 years with the Huskies.

"It was just a total breakdown by us," Auriemma said. "I

think we lost some energy. We didn't have any in the end."

Monique Currie finished with 17 points for the Blue Devils, and

Tillis grabbed 10 boards.

UConn used a number of defenders on Beard and held her without a

field goal in the first half. Reserve forward Ashley Battle was the

Huskies' defensive stopper with two steals and eight rebounds.

Both Beard and Taurasi picked up two fouls in the half, but only

Taurasi sat out the last few minutes. Her teammates continued to

attack Duke behind center Jessica Moore, whose strong, quick,

inside moves accounted for 10 first-half points. Moore finished

with 14 points and Barbara Turner added 12.

Auriemma said it came down to Duke's big plays and poor

decision-making by the Huskies in the end.

"Players, who up to this point were pretty good decision-makers

and do some good things, all of a sudden, whatever the worse

decision they could make in that particular instance, they made

it," Auriemma said. "I guess we're human, huh?"

Duke made just 22 percent of its shots in the first half, and in

one stretch missed 10 straight attempts. UConn led 35-18 at


Both teams begin conference play next week, but it probably will

be a long while before either forgets about this one.

"This will be a great learning experience for us," Goestenkors

said. "We are very fortunate to come away with the win because we

certainly didn't outplay UConn on this day."

But they did when it counted.