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UConn Womens Basketball Players Reflect on First 90-Game Win Streak

Members of the UConn women’s hoops team discuss their memory of the Huskies’ first streak.

Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog

In his postgame press conference, Geno Auriemma acknowledged that winning 90-straight games was not a once-in-a-lifetime event for him. However, it was for his players.

The first time UConn set the record for the most consecutive wins in Division I history, most of the current players were still in middle school and the idea of playing at UConn was nothing more than a dream.

“I looked up to a lot of them like Maya and all of them,” said Katie Lou Samuelson. “Looking back that I’m able to be part of that again and I never thought I would be in this position or here at all.”

With two sisters committed to play at Stanford, basketball was always on in Samuelson’s house growing up. With so much exposure to the sport from an early age, Samuelson remembers how big the first 90-game win streak was for women’s college basketball.

“It was amazing. I think I was in seventh or eighth grade and just watching those games, how big of a deal it was because the only team had been a men’s basketball team.

“It was big for women’s basketball and got a lot of publicity.”

Unlike Samuelson, Kia Nurse never had the chance to watch basketball as a kid.

“They don’t show women’s college basketball in Canada,” she said.

While she doesn’t remember the streak specifically, she can pinpoint the moment she knew she wanted to go to UConn.

“It was a national championship game with Maya Moore,” she said. “I don’t remember what year it was but I do remember watching one of those games and that was when I said ‘I’d love to go to UConn if I could.’”

Saniya Chong, the only senior on the team, was further along in the recruiting process during the streak and there was mutual interest with UConn.

“A lot of times I would watch their games (with) Maya Moore and all those others,” she said. “It was pretty remarkable.”

With a win on Tuesday against USF, the Huskies would tie their own record of 90-straight wins. While the team may be on the brink of history, the contributions of the players before them hasn’t been lost on this years’ team.

“Understanding the players before me, all the names on the wall, what they’ve gone through and seeing how hard they’ve worked to build this legacy and what it is today has been a great thing to be part of,” Nurse said.

“It’s pretty remarkable, just knowing that my name is with tons of these terrific women,” said Chong, gesturing to the All-American banners hanging in Werth Champions Center. “Being one of those is pretty amazing, there’s not much you can’t say.”

Geno Auriemma pregame remarks: