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BALLOT BREAKDOWN: Undefeated UConn still No. 1

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm •  Published: March 3, 2014
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Connecticut continued its stay atop The Associated Press women's basketball poll for another week.

UConn has won 37 straight games dating to last season's NCAA championship run, the third-longest winning streak in school history. The Huskies routed No. 3 Louisville 68-48 on Monday night. Up next is the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.

Here are five things to know about this week's poll:

DEFENSIVE EFFORT: As good as they are offensively, the Huskies are putting up record numbers on defense. UConn is holding opponents to 29.9 percent shooting from the field. That's slightly ahead of the NCAA record set by the 2010 Connecticut squad, which allowed teams to shoot 30.0 percent.

"We just go out and play defense and figure out what we've got to do to stop people and shut them down and we do it," coach Geno Auriemma said. "Some of the teams that we've had are better defensive teams than others. And I don't particularly think this is anything new at Connecticut where all of a sudden we're a good defensive team. It's been going on for a long, long time."

UConn is slightly behind the school record of 46.2 points per game allowed set that same season. This season's team has given up an average of 46.6 points. The success all comes down to a trust that the Huskies have in each other.

"Our guards and our perimeter defense know that if they do get beat not to foul them because we have people that can contest shots or alter shots behind them," UConn sophomore Breanna Stewart said. "To be able to have that kind of trust in your teammates is really helpful and it seems to be working and we're just trying to perfect it in practice."

CRUISING IRISH: Just as it has done all season long, Notre Dame ran through its final stretch of the regular season with easy victories over Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State during an eight-day stretch. The Irish beat those three ranked teams by a combined 60 points.

"It wasn't easy — every game was a battle," senior Natalie Achonwa said. "It's definitely great to be part of the ACC, and I think we just took it in stride and are really excited to be at this point and to be undefeated going into the postseason.

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