UConn guard Kalana Greene reacts to scoring the game's first points off a layup as the Huskies took on No. 3 Notre Dame at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 - Mark Mirko/Hartford Courant

This game was supposed to be another challenge for the No. 1 UConn Huskies. Instead it turned out to be another laugher in the national spotlight.

Tina Charles scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the first half to lead the Huskies past the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in front of 10,167 and a nationally televised audience at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday night.

It’s the 56th straight win for the Huskies who improve to 17-0 (5-0 in the Big East). Notre Dame’s head coach Muffett McGraw will have to wait another day to get her 600th career win as her squad falls to 15-1 (2-1). These two teams will meet up again to close out the Big East regular season on March 1st in South Bend, IN.

UConn center Tina Charles looks to shoot as Notre Dame's Melissa Lechlitner, left, and Devereaux Peters defend in the first half at Gampel Pavilion Storrs on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010 - AP PhotoCharles nearly had a double-double in the first half pulling down nine of her 13 rebounds. Maya Moore had a double-double as well as she finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Kalana Greene had a good all-around game as she had 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals and a blocked shot.

Devereaux Peters paced the Irish with 12 points and had eight rebounds. Ashley Barlow was the only other member of the Irish in double-digits with 10 points. Their leading scorer, freshman Skylar Diggins, only had six points and they came on two 3-pointers in the second half. Lindsay Schrader led the Irish with nine rebounds.

The game was pretty much over in the first six minutes of the game as the Huskies started out on a 17-2 run. During that span, the Huskies forced the Irish to take two timeouts just thirty seconds apart.

A 7-2 run pushed the lead to 20 points at 20-4. Charles scored all seven of those point on her way to the 17 first half points. Notre Dame just looked defeated in the first half as they trailed 42-19 at the break.

The Irish played a little better in the second half but they were never able to crack being down by less than 20 points. The highest the Huskies got the lead to was 26 points in the second half.

It was definitely a memorable day for the Huskies and women’s basketball in general as ESPN held it’s first ever Women’s College GameDay in Storrs. Hopefully this event becomes a staple on ESPN’s schedule whether it be at UConn or another women’s venue in years to come.

The Huskies have a quick turnaround as they will board a plane tomorrow and head to Durham, NC as they will take on the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in a Martin Luther King Day matchup. The game will start at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.

Notes and musings:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ UConn Huskies 1.16.10 box score

The starters were Tiffany Hayes, Caroline Doty, Kalana Greene, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.

The Huskies shot 45% from the floor (27-of-60) while the Irish shot 26.9% (18-of-67).

UConn had 19 assists on their 27 made baskets.

The Huskies won the battle of the boards 45-39.

UConn was just 2-of-18 (11.1%) from three-point range.

The Huskis were 14-of-17 (82.8%) from the free throw line.

UConn had 18 turnovers in the game while Notre Dame had 19. UConn had 28 points off the turnovers while the Irish had 21.

The Huskies outscored the Irish 44-28 in the paint.

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

– Tonight marked the first ever ESPN Women’s College Game Day for women’s basketball.

– UConn’s 56-game winning streak is the second longest in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history. Connecticut holds the record at 70 (2001-03). Like this streak, the Huskies won their 56th straight game against Notre Dame during the NCAA record 70-game streak.

– UConn has won each of its 56 consecutive games by double-digits, an NCAA record.

– The Huskies have a 55 game regular-season winning streak that dates back to a 73-71 loss at Rutgers on Feb. 5, 2008.

– UConn extended its home-court winning streak to 51 straight games, the nation’s longest active streak, including 37 straight at Gampel Pavilion.

– Tonight’s sellout crowd is the third of the season and the 79th at Gampel Pavilion since the 1997-98 season.

– UConn has now won 10 straight against top-10 opponents during its 56-game winning streak.

– The Huskies improve to 17-0 for the eighth time in 15 seasons.

– UConn improves to 249-11 playing as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team.

-UConn is now 295-11 at home since the 1993-94 season. It is 102-02 in its last 104 games played at Gampel Pavilion.

– The Huskies are 96-4 in their last 100 games played.

– UConn is now 146-53 all-time against AP Top-25 ranked opponents and is 68-36 against those ranked in the top 10.

– The Huskies have gone 594 games without losing back-to-back matches.

– UConn has won its first 17 games of the season by an average margin of victory of 39.7 points.

– Notre Dame entered the game fifth on the nation’s average scoring list with 82.4 points, but was held to just 46 points in UConn’s victory.

– UConn’s defense held Notre Dame to its lowest point total of the season.

– Tonight marked the 27th time that Notre Dame and UConn have faced each other. The Huskies are 23-4 in the series, 16-3 during the regular season. The Huskies hold a 9-2 record during the regular season, 12-3 including postseason play, when both Notre Dame and UConn play as ranked teams.

-Of the 27 games played between UConn and Notre Dame, 14 have been sellouts – including all 10 games played at Gampel Pavilion in the series.

– The last time these two teams faced each other came on Feb. 22, 2009 at the XL Center. The Huskies won that game 76-66 – the smallest margin of victory for UConn during its current 56-game winning streak (Rutgers also came within 10 points on March 2, 2009, 69-59).

– Prior to tonight’s game, both teams owned an undefeated record. They were two of four teams in the country without a loss this season (Wisconsin- Green Bay and Nebraska). UConn is now 5-0 against ranked opponents this season, winning by an average margin of 20.2 points.

– The Huskies own a 12-1 all-time record at home against Notre Dame. The only loss came on Jan. 30, 2005 (59-56). That loss is the most recent against conference opponents excluding Rutgers.

-The last time that UConn and Notre Dame faced each other as a No. 1 vs. No. 3 matchup came on Jan. 15, 2001. Notre Dame won that game 92-76.

– UConn has won its last seven games against Notre Dame by an average margin of victory of 15.3 points.

– The Huskies improve to 5-0 in the Big East this season.

– UConn has won 28 straight Big East Conference home games. The Huskies last lost against a conference opponent at home on Feb. 7, 2006 against Rutgers, 60-56.

– The Huskies are now 150-2 in their last 152 Big East home games.

– UConn has won 137 of its last 145 games against Big East opponents in the regular season and is 352-104 overall in conference games against current Big East teams. The Huskies are 411-100 all-time against the Big East since its inception in the 1982-83 season.

– Tonight’s matchup is the 25th between Big East teams ranked in the top-10.

-UConn is 87-18 in nationally televised games since 2001-02 (4-0 this season).

– The Huskies have now won 29 consecutive games in the month of January.

– UConn extends its streak of games without back-to-back losses to 585 consecutive games.

– The Huskies went on a 24-4 run spanning the first 7:40 of the game, prompting Notre Dame to take three time outs (two within 29 seconds of each other).

– Senior Tina Charles scored 11 consecutive points for the Huskies during a 4:18 span in the first half to stretch the Huskies’ lead from 15-2 to 26-6.

– UConn held Notre Dame without a shot for 4:59 during the first half until a basket by Notre Dame’s Ashley Barlow. During that span, the Huskies scored 17 points.

– The Huskies had five blocks in the first half, tying the most in the first half for the team this season (Nov. 17, 2009 at Texas). Their seven-block total ties the second-most this season (seven, also against Texas).

– UConn’s defense kept Notre Dame’s top two leading scorers, Skylar Diggins (averaging 13.5 points) and Lindsay Schrader (averaging 11.5 points), scoreless in the first half.

– UConn’s 42-19 lead in the first half marked only the second time this season that Notre Dame trailed after the first 20 minutes of the game.

– Notre Dame’s 19 first-half points were the fewest points scored in any half in a game for the Irish this season.

– Notre Dame shot just 22.9 percent in the first half (8-for-35), the third straight game this season that the Huskies have limited their opponent to shooting less than 25 percent in the half. It was also the first time since March 3, 2008 (at St. John’s) that Notre Dame has shot less than 25 percent in a half.

– Sophomore Tiffany Hayes drew three charges in the first half against Notre Dame.

– The Huskies have scored 40 points or more in the first half in 15 of their 17 games this season.

– UConn had a 19-to-7 assist ratio against Notre Dame in tonight’s match.

– Tina Charles scored 23 points in the game, including 17 in the first half. This marks the 16th time this season and the 100th career game that Charles had tallied double-digit points. She also scored 20 points or more six times this season, 24 times in her career.

– Tina Charles recorded her third consecutive double-double tonight with 23 points and 13 rebounds. It is the 44th career game that she has done so, including six times this season.

– Tina Charles’ 23 points marked her third straight game this season with 20 or more points, only the second time in her career that she has achieved this feat. The previous time she had a streak of three games with at least 20 points came during the 2008-09 season – during the Big East Tournament Championship game on March 10, 2009 against Louisville (21), the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 22, 2009 against Vermont (32), and the second round of the NCAA tournament on March 24, 2009 against Florida (22).

– Tina Charles’ 13 rebounds tie a season high, which she achieved twice before (Nov. 14, 2009 against Northeastern and Jan. 9, 2010 against North Carolina).

– Junior Maya Moore’s 20 points mark the 16th time this season and the 91st of 94 career games that she has recorded double-digit points. It is the ninth time this season and the 38th time of her career that she has posted 20 points or more.

– Tonight’s game marks the third time this season that two UConn players have scored 20 points or more in the same game and the second time that Charles and Moore have done so. The other time came against Stanford on Dec. 23, 2009 when Charles had 20 points and Moore scored 23. Charles and Kalana Greene also paired up against Clemson in the WBCA Classic on Nov. 29, 2009 against Clemson when Charles dropped 20 points and Greene tallied a career-high 28 points.

– Maya Moore’s double-double tonight (20 points and 11 rebounds) was the 31st of her career and the fourth of the season.

– Tiffany Hayes’ eight assists tonight are a new career high. She previously had seven against California on March 29, 2009.

– Maya Moore’s 3-point basket with 5:32 remaining in the game broke an 0-for-15 skid from behind the arch in the past three games.

– Senior Kalana Greene’s 13 points marked the 10th time this season and the 58th time in her career that she has recorded 10 points or more.