UConn's Charles on center stage
With her team struggling to find its shooting touch, Connecticut center Tina Charles took over.
Charles had 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 4 blocks to help top-ranked Connecticut beat Penn State, 77-63, yesterday at Madison Square Garden.
"Tina was obviously the big difference in the game," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "No one could match what she did."
The game followed Rutgers-Army as part of the Maggie Dixon Classic, played in honor of the former Army coach. Dixon died April 6, 2006, of arrhythmia, probably caused by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after her first season as Army's coach, a campaign that won the admiration of all of college basketball.
Between games, all four teams stood on the court during a ceremony honoring Dixon and mayor Michael Bloomberg declared yesterday "Maggie Dixon Day" in New York City.
The Huskies struggled against the Nittany Lions, shooting 38 percent from the field and going 7 for 30 from behind the arc.
UConn (7-0) had been on an 11-day break for exams since beating Holy Cross Dec. 3. The rust showed as Connecticut was sloppy in the early going in front of a crowd of 9,417.
Trailing, 19-18, with nine minutes left in the half, UConn went on a 16-2 run to close the period.
Tyra Grant scored 26 points for Penn State (5-5).
Maya Moore added 21 points for the Huskies.
Rutgers 59, Army 38 - Epiphanny Prince - who led her high school to four straight public school championships at Madison Square Garden - scored 25 points as the No. 14 Scarlet Knights (6-2) conquered the Black Knights (5-5).
Texas 73, Tennessee 59 - The sixth-ranked Longhorns (9-0) got 21 points from Brittainey Raven to knock out the No. 7 Lady Vols (7-2) in Austin, Texas.
Louisville 75, Kentucky 59 - Angel McCoughtry scored 31 points to lead the No. 12 Lady Cardinals (9-1) to a romp over the visiting Wildcats (5-5) in front of a crowd of 16,337 people, which set Louisville, state of Kentucky, and Big East Conference paid-attendance records for a women's basketball game.
Kent State 77, Vermont 71 - Jena Stutzman came off the bench to score 20 points - sinking six of the team's 12 3-pointers - and lead the visiting Golden Flashes (7-1) past the Catamounts (5-4). Courtnay Pilypaitis led Vermont with a game-high 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Harvard 73, Maine 50 - Four Crimson players recorded double figures as the host Crimson (6-4) rolled over the Black Bears (2-7) in a game in which senior Emily Tay became the 13th Harvard women's player to score at least 1,000 points.
UNH 70, Northeastern 62 - Candace Williams had 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as the Wildcats (2-6) topped the visiting Huskies (2-5). Ashlee Feldman and Jasmine Crew scored 14 points each for the Huskies.
Arizona 69, Gonzaga 64 - Nic Wise scored 21 points, including three free throws in the final 31 seconds as the Wildcats upset the No. 4 Bulldogs in Phoenix.
Jordan Hill added 22 points and Chase Budinger had 14 for the Wildcats (7-2), who beat a team ranked in the top four for the first time since Nov. 8, 2001, when they beat No. 2 Maryland. Austin Daye had 22 points and Matt Bouldin added 14 for the Bulldogs (7-1).
Wake Forest 66, Wright St. 53 - Harvey Hale hit five 3-pointers in collecting a season-high 17 points to help the 11th-ranked Demon Deacons (9-0) defeat the visiting Raiders (2-7).
Villanova 70, La Salle 59 - Corey Stokes scored 18 points to lead the No. 15 Wildcats (10-1) past the host Explorers (4-4)
Arizona St. 59, IUPUI 58 - Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser scored all of the 20th-ranked Sun Devils' 4 points in overtime to defeat the Jaguars (5-4) in Phoenix. Rihards Kuksiks scored 18 points, all on 3-pointers, to lead the Sun Devils (8-1), who trailed, 39-23, in the early minutes of the second half.
Vermont 89, UNC-Wilmington 68 - Colin McIntosh and Nick Vier each scored 20 points to lead four players in double figures as the host Catamounts (5-3) defeated the Seahawks (3-7). Mike Trimboli scored 19 points with seven rebounds and seven assists while Garvey Young added 11 for Vermont.
Dartmouth 96, Plymouth St. 47 - Robby Pride came off the bench and scored a game-high 14 points as the Big Green (2-5) rolled over the visiting Panthers (4-6) and recorded their largest margin of victory since Jan. 21, 1991, when they defeated Clark by 50.
Bentley 96, Concordia 65 - Jason Westrol and Lew Finnegan combined for 40 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, and 6 steals as the Falcons (8-3) romped over the Eagles (1-7) for their 41st consecutive home victory.