Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A little streak talk

With UConn going for its 100th straight home game tonight, I thought it would be a good time to reach out to the author of a women's basketball program with 122 straight wins at home.

I e-mailed Oral Roberts coach Jerry Finkbeiner on Thursday night and he was obliging enough to get back to me to talk about the NAIA record 122-game streak he was a part of as the head coach at Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Okla. in the late 1980s and through the late 1990s.

"We took a tremendous amount of pride, obviously," Finkbeiner said. "I think as the numbers increased, especially after 100, the pressure of the streak probably decreased and maybe increased in our opponents and made it an even bigger home court advantage because the momentum was so strong. I think all the opponents coming in where probably pressured to try to stop it while our girls were just steamrolling.

Finkbeiner game to Southern Nazarene when the streak was in the 20s and left when it was "at about 108" to take over at Oral Roberts.

"We were NAIA versus Connecticut being Division I but relatively speaking probably similar things were enjoyed," Finkbeiner said. "Our fan attendance was never higher, our local media's interest was never higher and it all stemmed from the big wave of excitement, pride and momentum of a home streak. I inherited a winning streak of about 25, I was there six years and we never lost while I was there so for me as a coach, I am an alumnus of that school so it was fun for me to come back and coach. 

"It has a lot of angles of fun, excitement, pride and relatively speaking when I look at UConn and what they have gone under Coach Auriemma, we enjoyed the same things. We were a big fish in a small pond at the NAIA level as UConn is, the big fish in a smaller pond so to speak because of the success they have enjoyed. To enjoy 100 game home win streaks, they are probably similar stories, similar thoughts and experiences for whatever level they are at."

Of course it would be been a similar story had UConn won tonight. Instead, the streak ended at 99 with a 57-56 loss to St. John's.

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