Prior to No. 4 Syracuse’s 76-59 victory over St. John’s and the No. 2 Lady Huskies’ 79-76 win over Notre Dame, players from the Orange went to greet some of the players from Geno Auriemma’s squad.
The two teams played a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Afterward, guard Scoop Jardine had high praise for Connecticut.
“What they’ve done, it’s unbelievable,” Jardine said. “You have to give homage to that. That one streak they had, that’s never going to be broken. I just wanted to tell them how much we watch them play.”
The streak that Jardine was referring to was Connecticut’s string of 90 straight wins that ended Dec. 30 in a loss to Stanford. That broke the record of 88 straight wins by the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team, whose streak began Jan. 30, 1971 and ended Jan. 19, 1974.
The person most sought after was Connecticut forward Maya Moore, widely considered the top player in NCAA women’s basketball and an eventual No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft. Both Jardine and SU forward Kris Joseph got her autograph.
“She said, ‘For real?'” Joseph said. “I said, ‘I’m serious. I’m not playing no games. I want your autograph.’ She was kind enough to sign it, to personalize it.”
Jardine described his approach.
“I said, ‘I love your leadership ability. Can I have your autograph?'” Jardine said. “She was shocked. She didn’t know we were going to do that. We’re fans.”
Once Moore signed the autographs, both Jardine and Joseph chatted with Moore for a short period of time.
“I admire what they do,” Jardine said. “What they do as a team. I admire her passion. That’s something that I try put into myself.”
Only one thing could have made the interaction better.
“I wish it was a better sheet of paper,” said Joseph, while looking at the autograph. “I’m pretty happy. I’m excited.”
Wesley Cheng is the Editor in Chief for The Juice Online.