UConn survives scare, downs Lady Bears
For 23 straight games, the top-ranked UConn women's basketball team went untested en route to 23 double-digit wins. On Monday night, they extended that streak to 24, but not before No.7 Baylor gave the Huskies their closest game since last March in a 66-55 win.
UConn (18-0, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) took a nine point lead into halftime, but foul trouble kept it tentative when play resumed after the break. Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley both committed three fouls in the opening 20 minutes, and Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis joined them with three apiece in the beginning stages of the second half.
The result was a Huskies' squad that was hesitant to bring the ball inside and it showed - the Lady Bears (14-2, 4-0 Big 12) opened the final frame by outscoring UConn 17-12 and cutting its lead to just two points.
UConn's advantage was just three points as late as 3:51 in the game, when Stefanie Dolson was sent to the free throw line. Her two makes started a 10-2 run to end the game that bailed the Huskies out of trouble.
Interestingly, the game was close throughout despite a dreadful shooting night from Odyssey Sims, the Lady Bears' leading scorer. The senior guard finished with 20 points, but 10 of them came from the line amidst a 4-for-25 shooting effort.
Breanna Stewart was more efficient for the Huskies, but not by much. The reigning American Player of the Week finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds on 4 of 14 shooting.
Despite an ugly offensive performance that saw UConn struggle to under 40 percent shooting for just the second time this year, one area in which it shined was on the glass. Baylor entered the night first in the nation with a plus-16.2 rebound margin, but the Huskies won the board battle, 41-39, on Monday night.
By extending its own winning streak - and consecutive double-digit wins streak - UConn also ended Baylor's 69-game home win streak.
The Huskies resume conference play on Sunday with a trip to the Louis Brown Athletic Center to take on Rutgers. That game is set for a 3 p.m. start and can be seen on ESPN2.
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