NEW YORK — At the world’s most famous arena, Breanna Stewart passed one of the most world’s most famous women’s basketball players for sixth all-time on the UConn women’s basketball scoring list as part of the Huskies’ 83-73 win over No. 6 Maryland at Madison Square Garden
Stewart’s free throw with 1:36 left in the third quarter was the 2,157th of her career, passing UConn legend Diana Taurasi for sixth all-time on the UConn scoring list. Stewart passed Taurasi in her 124th career game for the Huskies, 20 games faster than it took Taurasi to reach her mark of 2,156 career points.
The senior forward now has 2,166 career points and sole possession of sixth all-time on the UConn scoring list. She trails Kerry Bascom (2,177 points) for fifth all-time by 11 points, and is 13 points away from passing Nykesha Sales and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for third all-time.
“That is a huge honor just to obviously be in the same sentence as them and I think it just goes to show how hard I’ve worked since I have been here,” Stewart said. “Points are nice but the wins are more important.”
Stewart finished the night with a team-high 23 points with six rebounds and seven assists in her first game back after sitting out for UConn’s victory over Louisiana State on Dec. 21 with an ankle injury. Stewart scored 14 of her 23 points in the second half to help seal the Huskies’ 47th straight victory, tying the third-longest streak in program history.
“It’s still not exactly what I want it to be,” Stewart said of her ankle. “It’s kind of a mind over matter, you don’t think about it, it’s fine, that kind of stuff…It’s not really that swollen.”
Tuck Scores 1,000
Stewart wasn’t the only Husky to reach a career milestone against the Terrapins as Morgan Tuck scored her 1,000th career point as part of a 17-point, eight-rebound and six-assist effort. The junior forward became the 41st UConn player to reach the 1,000-point mark, and the first since Moriah Jefferson did so last season with 19 points against Rutgers in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
“She made some good moves offensively and defensively to help give us a spark, Stewart said of Tuck. “I’m happy she got that milestone because she deserves it.”
Tuck joins Stewart and Moriah Jefferson as current members of the 1,000-point club. Together, the three have formed a reliable core that has helped lead the Huskies to three straight championships and a prime opportunity for an unprecedented fourth-straight title.
“I think it shows how much we’ve contributed to this program and also how much we’ve grown since our freshmen year,” Stewart said of trio’s accomplishments.
Chong Comes in Clutch
Saniya Chong didn’t play much Monday night against the Terrapins, playing a team-low 10 minutes. However, the Ossining, New York native made the most of her minutes, hitting a clutch three with 40 seconds left to give the Huskies a 78-71 lead and secure the victory.
“I haven’t been able to play in many games, so going out there and hitting that three, it felt real great,” Chong said. “Coming out here and playing at home was really good.”
Chong has battled issues with soreness in her IT band all season, limiting her ability to practice and play in game. Prior to taking on the Terrapins, Chong had missed three straight games due to soreness, and nearly missed her fourth before working with trainer Rosemary Ragle to stretch out and make her first appearance since playing seven minutes against Notre Dame on Dec. 5. Chong finished the night with five points, one assist and two steals.
“It wasn’t until game time that the decision was made that she would play,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said of Chong. “It makes a big difference to have her out there. Huge difference. It’s another guard, it’s another defender, it’s another offensive player. So if we can get her back now on a regular basis, that changes a lot of what we’re doing.”