Second-ranked UConn (24-2, 11-1 Big East), which made national headlines last year during their run to 90 wins in a row, will play St. John’s (17-8, 9-3) today with a chance to win its 100th consecutive home game.
The last time UConn was beaten at home was on March 6, 2007, when the team lost to Rutgers in the Big East championship game, 55-47. No current member of the team has ever lost at either Gampel Pavilion or the XL Center in Hartford.
“We take that to heart,” said Hayes, the only senior on the team. “When we’re at home, we feel like we shouldn’t lose.”
The streak is already the longest in the history of women’s basketball. The Huskies long ago broke the Division I record of 69 it had shared with Tennessee, and set the overall women’s record in November by beating Dayton and passing Division III Rust College, which won 88 in a row at home from 1982-89.
Stanford currently has the second-longest active streak at 76 games, which includes last year’s win that snapped UConn’s record 90-game overall winning streak.
Others have had long home winning streaks snapped this year. UConn ended Duke’s 24-game home winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 30, and Notre Dame had a 21-game overall winning streak, and a 20-game home winning streak snapped with a loss to West Virginia last Sunday.
“I think with each really good team that loses at home, you begin to see how difficult it is to do that, what we’ve done,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “With our team we talk a lot about everybody wins at home, we say that, but it’s not true.”
The Huskies haven’t just won on their home court, they have dominated. All but two of the games during the streak have been decided by double digits, and the Huskies have won 35 of them by more than 40.
“You have your crowd. You have your student section. You have your family and friends here and you want to make them proud,” said UConn guard Caroline Doty. “So, to come out and not be able to perform, we don’t really want to think about that.”
A win today will put UConn 29 games behind Kentucky’s men, who set the all-time basketball record for consecutive home wins between 1943 and 1955.
The St. John’s game will be the final one this year on campus.