For top-ranked UConn, there's no avoiding the very big number anymore.
The Huskies rolled to a 96-49 victory over Cincinnati on Tuesday night behind Napheesa Collier's perfect shooting night, leaving them within arm's reach of the NCAA's first triple-digit winning streak.
Two more wins and it'll be 100 in a row.
"The last thing on my mind is the number," coach Geno Auriemma said. "I'm sure with this weekend coming up, it will be a big topic of conversation. Right now, we just needed a game like this where we did a lot of things really, really well."
Nobody was better than Collier, who made all of her 10 shots — including one from beyond the arc — and all three of her free throws for 24 points. She also had 12 rebounds, six assists and five blocked shots.
"It's not really too much of a surprise for us because she does that every day in practice every day," said Katie Lou Samuelson, who added 20 points. "She's all over the place and it's something you just kind of come to expect from her."
Well, one of the Huskies was taken aback by the 10-for-10.
"I didn't know until after the game," Collier said. "I was really surprised by that."
There was no surprise to how UConn's 98th straight win unfolded. The Huskies (23-0, 11-0 American Athletic) made quick work of former UConn star Jamelle Elliott's team, pulling ahead 49-22 at halftime with three players in double figures already. Shanice Johnson led Cincinnati with 20 points.
The Huskies improved to 17-0 all-time against Cincinnati (14-9, 5-5), led by their former star and assistant coach. Elliott remains close friends with Auriemma. They go out to dinner the night before their annual games and talk about everything except what's coming up.
Elliott noted that UConn wasn't expected to be so dominant this season.
"I heard it all the time," she said. "I got sick of hearing it. I am an alum. I'm a proud alum. And I still root for them every game that they play outside of ours."
The Huskies already had the Division I women's record with 35 straight road wins. Their 36th on Tuesday surpassed Phog Allen's mark with Kansas in 1924-28.
Of course, the biggest number is now just ahead.
"We don't pay attention to the streak in the sense that we want to get to a certain number," Collier said. "We just don't want to lose."
The Huskies have won 106 straight road games against unranked teams since loss at Arizona State on Dec. 21, 2004.
DANGERFIELD COMING AROUND
Point guard Crystal Dangerfield had five points, five assists and one steal in 19 minutes. She's still getting back in form after missing five games with a foot injury. She's played in the last three, and Auriemma hopes she's close to form for a game on Monday night against No. 6 South Carolina.
"Little by little, it will come back," Auriemma said. "It better come back before Monday night or else."
Samuelson went 3 of 11 from beyond the arc, part of a two-game slump. She's 3 for 18 in the last two games on 3-point attempts.
"The last game it didn't feel very good," Samuelson said. "Today it felt good, but they just didn't go in."
UConn: While the Huskies close in on 100 wins, Auriemma passed C. Vivian Stringer of Rutgers for fourth on the career wins list with 978.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats' last six losses against UConn have been by 65, 60, 59, 62, 54 and 47 points.
The Huskies continue their pursuit of No. 100 when they host SMU on Saturday. They could reach the mark at Gampel Pavilion on Monday against South Carolina.
The Bearcats play at Houston on Saturday. They beat the Cougars 85-64 on Jan. 7 at home, part of a five-game winning streak.