I’m thinking that Syracuse Orange head coach Quinten Hillsman may be regretting his players giving the No.1 UConn Huskies women’s basketball team bulletin board material after the shooting display the Huskies put on this afternoon.

The Huskies hit a school-record 18 three-pointers on their way to 107-53 rout of the Orange at the XL Center in Hartford, CT.

UConn improves to 17-0 (4-0 Big East) for the second straight season and 7th time since 1994-95 while Syracuse drops to 13-5 (2-3). The win also sets up the matchup on Monday night between the two highest scoring teams in the country, UConn and North Carolina on ESPN2 at 7 PM.

UConn forward Maya Moore makes her 1000th point with this three pointer in the second half against Syracuse - MICHAEL MCANDREWS / HARTFORD COURANTWhat can you say about Maya Moore. She just had another average day at the office scoring 40 points and pulling down 13 rebounds for her 19th career double-double and 8th of the season. Moore hit a Big East and school-record 10 three-pointers. And oh by the way, she became the fastest UConn women’s player to hit 1,000 points in her career, doing it in just 55 games. Her 40 points in the game is the second highest in UConn history behind Nykesha Sales’ 46 points in 1997.

Tina Charles had another great game in the paint with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Renee Montgomery started off slow but had a great game as well with a double-double of her own with 14 points and 11 assists. Caroline Doty was on her way to a great game as she had 17 points before suffering a knee sprain late in the first half.

The Orange were led by Chandrea Jones who had 15 points. Nicole Michael had 11 points and 5 rebounds while Juanita Ward and Erica Morrow both added 8 points.

Things got a little heated after the game between UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and Syracuse’s Nicole Michael. After the game when the teams were shaking hands, Auriemma went through the line and at the end had some words with Michael. Apparently as Auriemma was making his way back towards the bench, Michael said something that got Auriemma even hotter under the collar. Things were quickly defused and Geno made his way back to the UConn locker room.

It was a very physical game throughout as Doty shared an exchange early on with Ward. Hillsman picked up a technical complaining about some of the calls and even Geno picked up a technical foul towards the end of the game with UConn leading by 56 points on a non-foul call when Tiffany Hayes got hammered while making a layup. Auriemma also spent the latter part of the game staring down Hillsman.

The Huskies got out of the gates quickly this afternoon behind Doty who hit 4-of-7 three-pointers to put the Huskies out front 22-9. The Orange fought back getting the UConn lead down to 29-20 before a 6-0 run pushed the lead back to 15 points. Syracuse cut the UConn lead to 35-24 with 5:28 to go but the Huskies closed out the first half on a 13-4 to take a 48-28 lead into the locker room.

The second half belonged to Moore as she set the tone by hitting a three-pointer 8 seconds into the half and the Huskies never looked back from there.

This was a great statement from the Huskies going into Monday’s matchup with North Carolina. However with the injury to Doty, the UConn bench players are going to have to step up their games to make up for her loss.

One thing’s for certain though. Moore showed everyone why she is the best player in women’s college basketball this afternoon.

Notes and musings:

Syracuse Orange at UConn Huskies women’s basketball 1.17.09 box score

The starters were the usual suspects of Renee Montgomery, Caroline Doty, Kalana Greene, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.

The UConn women wore their alternate gray uniforms this afternoon for the first time this season.

North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell said during her conference call that the series between the Tar Heels and UConn has been extended for two more seasons.

The Huskies shot 52.1% (37-79) from the floor including 46.2% (18-39) from 3-point land. The Orange shot just 30.9% (17-55).

UConn had 28 assists on their 37 made baskets.

The Huskies dominated the glass holding a 45-28 advantage.

UConn forced Syracuse into 19 turnovers which they converted into 29 points. The Huskies had 15 turnovers of their own.

Tiffany Hayes found herself in Geno’s doghouse in the first half when she committed back-to-back turnovers.

Both teams shot the ball well from the charity stripe as UConn was 15-of-19 (78.9%) and Syracuse was 16-of-19 (84.2%).

UConn is 8-2 in games when the No. 1 and 2 teams are playing.