Huskies Win (By 61)

by Categorized: UConn women's basketball Date:

If you look hard, really hard, it is possible to locate one soft spot in the defensive midsection that has bulked-up No. 1 UConn this season.
Over the course of its first 23 games, guards have had big games against it; Stanford’s Amber Orrange, Oregon’s Chrishae Rowe, Memphis’ Ariel Hearn, Central Florida’s Briahanna Jackson and Rutgers’ Tyler Sciafe all have done something to write home about.
And on Tuesday at Gampel Pavilion, SMU brought perhaps the best of them all to face the Huskies for the first time – senior Keena Mays, the leading scorer in The American.
Then again, what do all of these scorers have in common? They have all ended up on the wrong end of the score. Add Mays to the list after UConn’s demonstrative 102-41 win before 7,839 at Gampel Pavilion.
It was UConn’s third 100-point game this season, its first since racking up a season-high 114 against Oregon on Nov. 20 at the XL Center.
Mays, averaging 20.1 this season, with two 30-point games, ended with 20 points. But she was 8 of 24, 3 of 12 in the first half when the Huskies opened a 54-19 lead.
Meanwhile, the Huskies produced a slew of super-sized numbers, highlighted by each of their starters scoring in double-figures, just like they did against Oregon  when six of them did the trick.
They were led in scoring by Bria Hartley (21 points, 8 of 10). Breanna Stewart added 20 points (8 of 14) with eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Stefanie Dolson has 16 points with 11 rebounds, five blocks and five assists. Moriah Jefferson slipped in 14 points (6 of 7)  with five assists and five rebounds. And Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit double-figures for third straight game with 16 points and 11 rebounds., She also tied a career-high with seven assists.
Next for UConn is Sunday’s first meeting of the season with No. 5 Louisville, who the Huskies beat in the national championship game last season. The teams will meet again in Louisville on March 3 to complete the regular season.
And if the current course of this first American season holds, they will play a third time for the conference’s tournament championship on March 10 at the Mohegan Sun.
As for UConn, it was back to its Magificent Seven alignment on Tuesday.  Junior Brianna Banks did not play after re-injuring the sprained left ankle that sidelined her against South Florida on Jan. 26. She again joined Morgan Tuck, whose season-ending knee surgery last week will have her balancing herself on crutches for the time coming.
And that depth was tested early when Bria Hartley picked up her second foul with 14:59 to play in the first half. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes would also pick up two fouls in the first half. But it added up to nothing.
This was never a game. The Huskies scored the first 19 points in just 5:34 before a pair of free throws by Gabrielle Wilkins with 14:11 to play in the first half averted the shutout. But the points provided only temporarily relief.
Things deteriorated from there as the Mustangs suffered through a 6 of 36 shooting performance. Mays was not alone; forward Akil Simpson missed nine of her first 10 shots. It was the 16th time this season an opponent had scored fewer than 20 in a half this season.
Meanwhile, the Huskies were moving faster than a virus on a cruise ship, assisting on 17 of their first 21 field goals. Stewart scored 13 points in the first half. Dolson added 12 with four blocks. Jefferson had seven points and five assists. And the Huskies had seven blocked shots.
There wasn’t much they did wrong. Just like normal.

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