When the University of Connecticut women's basketball team became a contender in the Big East in the late 1980s, coach Geno Auriemma had a theory on what it would take to get the Huskies over the top.
To win a title in the 16-game, round-robin format, UConn needed to win all of its home games and go .500 on the road.
Those days, like their time in the Big East, are gone. But one of the things that separates the Huskies from most others is their ability to thrive when they travel.
Top-ranked UConn tied its own NCAA record of 34 consecutive road wins Tuesday night, pounding host East Carolina 91-44 in American Athletic Conference action at Minges Coliseum.
"It's difficult to do it over and over and over again because of the variables that go into traveling," Auriemma said. "We just played Sunday and Tuesday and we don't have a very deep team. A lot of things can go sideways when you're on the road and you don't know how your kids are going to react."
The Huskies have not lost on the road since its last loss overall on Nov. 17, 2014, at Stanford. Their previous 34-game road winning streak started with a win at Pittsburgh on Jan. 20, 2001, and was snapped by Notre Dame on Jan. 13, 2004.
Over the last 10 years, UConn has lost seven true road games -- two each at Stanford and Notre Dame, and one apiece at Baylor, Rutgers, and North Carolina. Since the start of the 1993-94 season, the Huskies have finished with none or one true road loss 16 times. The last time they lost back-to-back true road games was January 1999, to Louisiana Tech and Boston College.
Tuesday night's record-tying win was never in doubt. The Huskies (19-0 overall, 7-0 AAC) did not trail for the 10th straight game in running their overall winning streak to 94 and have not been behind in 435:59.
"You can't get tired around here, especially when we have a quick turnaround like we had," UConn guard Kia Nurse said. "But we've done a good job of managing it."
Sophomores Katie Lou Samuelson (20) and Napheesa Collier (18) led five UConn players in double figures but Tuesday was a night of junior achievement.
Nurse became the 42nd player in UConn's 1,000-point club by scoring 15 to give her a total of 1,003. She did it in 96 games.
Then there was forward Gabby Williams, who notched the program's fifth triple-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists. She also had two steals and two blocked shots for good measure. Her point total was three off her career high while she matched her bests in rebounds and assists.
The Sparks, Nevada, native is fourth on the Huskies in scoring (12.5) and leads in rebounds (8.6), assists (5.4), and steals (2.8). All those numbers are career bests.
"It's just slowing down for her," Nurse said. "Over the years you could see snippets of it. Sometimes you'd just say, wow, at the things she'd do. Now she reads play well, she reads them before they happen, and she knows where the ball needs to go on time and on target. The offensive boards she had tonight were phenomenal. Those are just pure, hard work."
Williams is within 15 points of 900, five rebounds from 600, and passed 200 assists in her 95th game Tuesday night. In her first two seasons (76 games and 1,299 minutes), she had 101 assists and 85 turnovers. As a junior (19 games, 538 minutes), she's at 102 assists and 47 turnovers.
"You could see it coming from Gabby's standpoint," Auriemma said. "Her freshman year was a big struggle and last year she made a huge jump from freshman year. Now it's an even bigger jump. It's the basketball part that's made the biggest jump, the ability to see things and react to things and do things with the ball in her hands. She didn't have that last year and the year before. That she's leading our team in assists means a lot. You could have never imagined that two years ago because when she caught the ball she was going to do one thing, take it to the basket and lay it up. Now she has a lot of different things at her disposal.
"The most important thing to come out of that is her confidence level is sky high. Remember her freshman year, she would go up and down the floor twice and I had to take her out. She couldn't sustain any kind of energy. Now, she's able to play for as long as she needs to play."
UConn led 28-9 after one quarter. But at 32-11, the Huskies went 6:17 without a point as East Carolina (10-11, 1-7) pulled within 12.
The Pirates, as usual, tried to be extremely physical with UConn. And for some rare moments during the three-year-old series, it actually worked.
"For a second it was a problem for us," Nurse said. "We were taken aback by it. We had to toughen up a little bit and we did."
The Huskies scored the last eight points of the second quarter and the first 15 of the third in a total span of 6:30 to secure another rout.
"We started playing our game again," Williams said. "We got caught up in the way they play for a little while and at ECU's pace. But we knew if we played our game, things would open up for us.
"We did let it shake us up in the first half and it did catch us off guard. But it was good for us to get back on our feet."
UConn will have an opportunity to break the road winning streak mark next Wednesday at Temple (16-3, 6-0), which is shaping up as a showdown for first place in the AAC. But, first, the Huskies host Houston (8-12, 1-6) at the XL Center Saturday (SNY, noon).