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UConn denies Rutgers’ milestone

– Geno Auriemma wasn’t a huge fan of having to play Rutgers two days before a showdown with top-ranked Baylor.

He knows that it will help his team in the end as the setup is similar to what his third-ranked Huskies will see in the NCAA tournament.

“The Big East thinks we’re Superman. We can play at Rutgers Saturday, then have to play Baylor on Monday because we’re better than everyone else, we can handle that,” Auriemma said. “That’s what happens in the NCAA tournament. You play a tough game on a Saturday or Sunday and then play another one two days later. They’ve helped us over the years and they’ll help us this year.”

Morgan Tuck scored 15 points and Stefanie Dolson added 14 to help Connecticut beat Rutgers 65-45 on Saturday, denying coach C. Vivian Stringer of her 900th victory.

The Hall of Fame coach was looking to join Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell, who reached the mark last week.

“I’ll be glad to get it over with,” Stringer said. “I can’t begin to share with you the stress that it is – not in a negative way. We’re trying to fight hard to see how we can live and survive in the Big East to do that. I haven’t even talked to the team about the pressure of that. Even when my sister talks to me I don’t want to talk about it.”

Stringer’s next try will be Tuesday at No. 23 Syracuse.

UConn (24-1, 11-1) has its own big game Monday night with the showdown against No. 1 Baylor.

No. 1 BAYLOR 78, TCU 45: In Waco, Texas, Brittney Griner had 22 points and 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes as the Bears clinched at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title.

Griner scored eight of Baylor’s first 10 points as the Bears won their 53rd straight home game and 36th in a row in the conference, both the longest current streaks nationally. Baylor (24-1, 14-0) also has a nation-leading 22-game winning streak.

No. 23 SYRACUSE 80, PITTSBURGH 39: In Syracuse, N.Y., Kayla Alexander scored 19 points as the Orange exploited 23 Pittsburgh turnovers to win their fifth straight.

The Orange (21-3, 9-2 Big East) scored 18 points following turnovers to four by the Panthers (9-15, 0-11) off nine Syracuse miscues.

Pittsburgh lost its 31st consecutive Big East regular-season game.

No. 25 OKLAHOMA STATE 80, KANSAS STATE 45: In Stillwater, Okla., Toni Young had 23 points and 18 rebounds Saturday to lead the Cowgirls (18-6, 7-6 Big 12), who put all five starters were in double figures. Kendra Suttles also had a double-double, with 19 points and 10 rebounds.