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No. 1 Huskies win 65th straight, beat Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Tiffany Hayes scored 20 points, Maya Moore added 18 points and 10 rebounds and top-ranked Connecticut got a rare second-half scare before pulling away to beat No. 11 Oklahoma 76-60 Monday night and extend its unbeaten streak to 65 straight games.

Making their last foray outside Big East play before the postseason, the Huskies (26-0) trailed in the second half for only the second time this season, but Moore had six points during a 13-2 response as UConn regained control.

Oklahoma (18-7) rallied back from a 14-point, first-half deficit and led with 16 minutes left before Connecticut clamped down and started forcing the Sooners to settle for jump shots.

Danielle Robinson scored 18 points to lead Oklahoma, and Amanda Thompson added 16 points and 13 rebounds.

The Sooners had UConn trailing the latest in a game this season — by about a minute — but then started scuffling on offense. They were trailing by three when they had to force shots on back-to-back possessions with the shot clock running down, and the Huskies didn't afford them any more opportunities.

Tina Charles hit a foul line jumper, Caroline Doty nailed a 3-pointer from the left side and Moore connected on a jumper in the lane after a scrum for an offensive rebound as Connecticut's lead grew to 51-41 with 10:29 left. Oklahoma was still within 10 with under 6 minutes left before the Huskies inched away to win by double digits as they have throughout their winning streak — the second-longest in women's basketball history.

The Huskies also hold that record with 70 in a row from 2001 to 2003.

"The more aggressive we got, the more confidence we got," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "We've been a little bit unconfident lately and it shows up in our shooting."

Charles had 19 points and nine rebounds and Kalana Greene had 14 points for UConn. Oklahoma went 10-for-17 on free throws, with most of the misses coming when the Huskies were well within reach.

Connecticut got off to its usual fast start, opening its first double-digit lead in the first 7½ minutes and going up 26-12 when Greene got behind the defense for an easy layup with 8:39 left in the first half.

Sooners coach Sherri Coale called timeout immediately after that basket and deployed a 2-3 zone that slowed a Huskies' offense that had been creating layups with relative ease. She went to a 1-3-1 a few possessions later and disrupted UConn even more, with Oklahoma scoring the final eight points of the half to get within 32-30.

Thompson took an inbounds pass from Robinson right under the basket and banked in a layup, then bounded the full length of the court as though the Sooners had just won the game on a buzzer-beater.

It was only the fourth time since the winning streak began that an opponent was within two points of Connecticut at halftime.

Oklahoma went ahead for the first time on Thompson's jumper with 18:10 left in the game and Robinson was able to answer baskets by Greene and Moore to put the Sooners up twice more. Greene then scored off a baseline inbounds pass to put UConn back on top 40-39 with 15:46 left, and the Huskies started pulling away from there.

Moore followed with a 3-pointer in transition and, after Thompson's layup for Oklahoma, Connecticut reeled off eight straight points to restore its double-digit cushion.