UConn's Kalana Greene (32) and Maya Moore, right, pressure Duke's Bridgette Mitchell (15) during the second half - AP Photo

For at least the first half, it looked as though the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils were going to give the No. 1 UConn Huskies a run for their money. Instead, whatever Geno Auriemma said to his squires at the half worked as the Huskies put on a clinic in the second half.

A 23-9 run just after the half helped propel the Huskies to an 81-48 win over the Blue Devils in front 9,418 and a nationally televised audience on ESPN2 on Monday night.

It’s the 57th straight win for the Huskies who improve to 18-0 on the season. The loss for Duke ends a 23 game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium as they fall to 15-3.

UConn forward Maya Moore (23) shoots next to Duke's Jasmine Thomas (5) during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., on Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 - AP PhotoMaya Moore led the way for the Huskies, who saw all five scorers in double figures, scoring 14 of her 20 points in the second half. Moore had spent the late part of the first half on the bench with two fouls. Kalana Greene was outstanding as she had 18 points and added two rebounds and four assists.

The sophomore backcourt duo of Tiffany Hayes and Caroline Doty both had 13 points with Hayes adding four assists and Doty three. Tina Charles, who earlier on Monday was named the Big East Player of the Week for the third straight week, finished with a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Jasmine Thomas paced the Blue Devils with 17 points. Both Bridgette Mitchell and Joy Cheek added eight points. Karima Christmas led the Dukies with seven rebounds while adding four points.

UConn got out of the gates quickly in this one hitting two 3-pointers, one each by Moore and Hayes. Duke cut the lead to three at 8-5 but the Huskies used a 17-10 run to push the lead to ten points at 25-15.

Two free throws by Krystal Thomas would get the lead down to eight points at 29-21 but the Huskies would push the lead to 13 points with 2:09 left in the half. Duke would score the final three points of the half to trail by 10 at 38-28.

The 23-9 run to the start the second half made sure the Huskies would get that 57th straight victory.

The Huskies never trailed in the game but Duke never look scared of them, at least in the first half. We’ve seen teams look afraid walking on the court and the results have shown up in the box scores. We all know Auriemma is a master motivator and whatever he said worked as the Huskies looked like a totally different team in the second.

Actually, they looked like the team we’ve seen all season long.

The Huskies are off until Saturday when they head to see Auriemma’s old friend Harry Peretta and the Villanova Wildcats. Tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game is scheduled to be broadcast locally here in Connecticut on CPTV.

Notes and musings:

UConn Huskies @ Duke Blue Devils 1.18.10 box score

The starters were the usual five suspects of Tiffany Hayes, Caroline Doty, Kalana Greene, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.

The Huskies shot 53.6% (30-of-56) from the floor while the Blue Devils shot 33.9% (19-of-56).

The Huskies had 24 assists on their 30 made baskets.

UConn was 13-of-25 (52%) from three-point land including 8-of-11 (72.7%) in the second half.

The Huskies were 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

Duke won the battle of the boards 35-31 while UConn won the points in the paint battle 28-24.

UConn scored 21 points off of 23 Duke turnovers. Duke scored 10 points of 14 UConn turnovers.

The rest of the game notes are courtesy of the UConn Sports Information department:

  • UConn extended its current winning streak to 57 consecutive games – second-longest in NCAA Division I history.
  • Tonight’s game marked UConn’s second in a three-day span against opponents ranked among the top-10 nationally.
  • UConn has won its last 20 “true” road games following tonight’s win over No. 7/7 Duke.
  • UConn leads the all-time series with Duke 5-3 and have won the last two meetings between the programs.
  • UConn improves to a perfect 6-0 this season against ranked opponents.
  • UConn has won its last 11 games overall against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference, dating back to a Jan. 15, 2007 loss at North Carolina.
  • UConn boasts an overall record of 11-0 against opponents ranked among the top 10 nationally during its current 57-game winning streak.
  • UConn has won 92 of its last 101 road games following tonight win over No. 7/7 Duke.
  • UConn improves to 88-18 in games nationally televised since 2001-02, including a 5-0 mark this season.
  • UConn boasts a record of 42-10 in games televised on ESPN2 since 2001-02.
  • UConn is 10-2 overall in appearances on “Big Monday” following tonight’s win over No. 7/7 Duke.
  • This marked the 16th consecutive season that UConn played before a national television audience on Martin Luther King Day – the Huskies are 12-4 all-time on the holiday and have won their last three.
  • UConn moves to 223-83 all-time in the month of January and have won its last 30 during the month overall.
  • UConn is 250-11 all-time when playing as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team in the Associated Press poll.
  • UConn has won 56 consecutive regular season games following tonight’s win at No. 7/7 Duke.
  • UConn moves to 18-0 to start a season for the third straight time and eighth time since 1994-95.
  • UConn is 147-53 all-time against ranked opponents and 33-20 in road games vs. ranked foes following tonight’s win over No. 7/7 Duke.
  • Kalana Greene’s 18 points marked her fourth consecutive game with double-figure points, her 11th this season and the 59th of her career.
  • Caroline Doty’s 13 points marked her eighth game with double-figure points this season and the 14th of her career.
  • UConn opened the second half with a 27-8 run over the opening 9:36 to take its lead to 65-42.
  • Tiffany Hayes 13 points marked her 11th game with double-figure points this season and the 28th of her career.
  • Maya Moore’s 20 points marked her 17th game with double-figure points this season and her 91st in 95 career games.
  • UConn has won each of its last 57 games by a minimum of 10 points – an NCAA record.
  • UConn’s 13 three-point field goals made tied its highest single-game total this season.
  • Tina Charles’ 10 points marked her eighth consecutive game with double-figure points and her 101st of her career.
  • Tina Charles’ 10 points and 14 rebounds marked her 45th career double-double and her seventh this season, including her fourth straight game.
  • UConn had a total of five players register double-figure points for the fifth time this season.