Believe it or not, this game was close for about 10 minutes or so. Then the No. 1 UConn Huskies turned on the afterburners and never looked back.

Maya Moore had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Huskies to an 83-49 win over the Marquette Golden Eagles in front of 4,000 at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, WI.

With the win, the Huskies improve to 23-0 (9-0 Big East) while the Golden Eagles drop to 13-10 (4-5).

UConn's Tina Charles, left, is fouled by Marquette's Georgie Jones - DARREN HAUCK / APMoore also added 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots. Kalana Greene had another great game with 16 points and 6 rebounds while Renee Montgomery chipped in with 15 points and 6 assist. Tina Charles rebounded from her bad performance the other night to score 10 points but had just 3 rebounds. Lorin Dixon also had a good game with 7 points and 5 rebounds.

No one on Marquette scored in double figures with Courtney Weibel leading the way with 9 points. Both Krystal Ellis and Paige Fiedorowicz had 8 points with Fiedorowicz pulling down 6 rebounds. Jessica Pachko had a team-high 7 rebounds.

The Huskies got out to a 4-point lead at 7-3 before Marquette came back to tie the game up at 7. Marquette eventually took a 12-9 lead before a 6-0 run by UConn gave them a 3 point lead. Marquette responded and then the two teams exchanged baskets with Marquette ending up with a 21-20 lead with 10:27 to go.

Then the game took a turn for the worse for the Golden Eagles.

UConn went on a 17-1 run over the next 8:51 minutes behind Moore and Montgomery along with some strong bench play from Meghan Gardler, Kaili McLaren and Lorin Dixon and of course that vaunted Connecticut defense. The run ended when Lauren Thomas-Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 1:42 to go. The Golden Eagles would add a basket at the end of the half Ellis stole the ball and made a layup but the Golden Eagles still trailed by 16, 42-26 at the break.

Things got even worse for the Golden Eagles to start the second half as they went the first 7 minutes without scoring a basket as UConn opened up a 30 point lead with a 14-0 run during that stretch. Marquette wouldn’t get any closer than 26 points the rest of the way.

It was nice to see the UConn bench step up after everyone questioned whether or not it had the depth to do so. If this continues, no one may be able to touch the Huskies the rest of the way. But as is their motto, it’s one game at a time.

That next game will come when they head to New York to take on St. John’s Wednesday night. Tip is scheduled for 7 PM and the game will be broadcast locally on CPTV.

Notes and musings:

UConn Huskies @ Marquette Golden Eagles 2.7.09 women’s basketball box score

The starters were Renee Montgomery, Tiffany Hayes, Kalana Greene, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.

Marquette’s Krystal Ellis was honored before the game for becoming Marquette’s all-time leading scorer in the Golden Eagles win over South Florida.

The Huskies shot 47.5% (28-of-59) while the Golden Eagles shot 21.9% (14-of-64).

UConn had 15 assists on their 28 made baskets.

The Huskies were just 3-of-13 (23.1%) from behind the 3-point line.

UConn won the battle of  the boards 50-38 and outscored Marquette 36-12 in the paint.

The Huskies had 13 steals in the game and forced 22 turnovers by the Golden Eagles. UConn turned those 22 turnovers into 31 points.

UConn did turn the ball over 18 times but allowed only 10 points.