Women's Basketball: No. 1 Huskies rout helpless Bearcats on road
UConn forward Breanna Stewart goes to the hoop against USF on Jan. 26 in Hartford. JON KULAKOFSKY/The Daily Campus
Although the calendar has changed to February and a fast slide into March is just around the corner, the No.1 UConn women's basketball team remained dominant, defeating Cincinnati 86-29 in their second matchup of the season. The Huskies advanced to 10-0 against the Bearcats, while Cincinnati's 29 points were the fewest UConn has allowed this season.
Last time the two teams matched up, UConn held Cincinnati scoreless for the first six minutes of the game. The Huskies scored 16 points before the Bearcats could even get on the board. Although UConn had such an early lead, they found themselves stuck after Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis gained three early fouls.
Cincinnati cut the lead significantly after Mosqueda-Lewis sat out the final 14 minutes of the first half. While Cincinnati trailed by seven at one stage of the game, it didn't take long for UConn to ignite the flame and bounce back to their normal play, defeating the Bearcats 67-34.
Although UConn still won big against the Bearcats in December, the Huskies truly set the tone in the beginning of their second matchup and never looked back. UConn was able to paralyze the Bearcats early, capitalizing on defense in order to dominate on offense.
UConn's backcourt set the tone, keeping Cincinnati scoreless for over 11 minutes and allowing the Huskies to get an early 30 point lead in the first half.
Guard Bria Hartley stole the show as she led the team in points and tied her career high of six steals. She also had one rebound and two assists in her 25 minutes on the court.
Both Hartley and Mosqueda-Lewis racked up 17 points, while Jefferson had 13; Stewart and Saniya Chong had 12 each. Mosqueda-Lewis was able to stay out of foul trouble, unlike last time the Huskies played Cincinnati and shot six for 11 in field goals and three for four in three-pointers.
Chong was able to get her groove back after being unable to score against Temple and sitting out the game against USF. Although Auriemma admitted that Chong seemed to bottom out and was unable to perform as well under the immense pressure, he believes that she will be able to get her confidence back and emerge as the strong competitor she is.
Although UConn's offense was in top shape, the Huskies defense was the catalyst for this win. UConn forced 24 turnovers from Cincinnati, and no Bearcat reached double figures in scoring. Alyesha Lovett, Jasmine Whitfield and Jeanise Randolph led the Bearcats with eight points each.
UConn's teamwork and communication allowed a balanced offensive shooting game. The Huskies had a total of 25 assists; six players got on the board before halftime while five finished in double figures.
UConn continues its stretch of conference games when they take on Southern Methodist University at Gampel Pavilion on Tuesday.
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