UConn blows away Blue Devils
Huskies defeat No. 4 Duke in dominant second half
Maria Conlon looks to set up the Huskies offense in their exhibition opener Saturday night.
The UConn women's basketball team defeated the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils 79-49, as senior guard Kelly Faris recorded her third career double-double.
Faris scored 18 points for the Huskies and shot 6-10 from the field in the victory. Faris also tailed 12 rebounds in the 31 minutes she played. Duke head coach Joanne McCallie praised Faris for her performance against the Blue Devils.
"She's a really special player," said McCallie. "She plays like a senior; she plays with great experience and is a great example to a lot of young kids that you don't need to have awesome size in order to get the job done."
UConn's leading point scorer of the night, sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also had positive words for her teammate's performance after the game.
"She is just one of the players who's not necessarily going to say a lot but she shows you how much she cares and how much she's willing to put out for her team," said Mosqueda-Lewis. "She's diving on the floor for rebounds and she comes out of nowhere to get steals. She comes up big scoring for us whenever we need it."
The Huskies came out strong from behind the arc to start the game, as UConn sunk three straight three pointers for their first nine points on the evening. The major problem for the Huskies in the first half was turnovers.
UConn committed 12 turnovers alone in the first half but the Huskies were able to make some adjustments at halftime and only committed three turnovers for the remainder of the game. According to UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, his team had better communication in the second half, which helped eliminate the turnover issues plaguing his team in the first half.
The first half also saw two of UConn's biggest weapons on offense go scoreless, as center Stefanie Dolson and forward Breanna Stewart could not drain a single basket. Stewart finished the night with 13 points, while Dolson recorded six points respectively.
The Huskies took a 32-30 halftime lead into the locker room to regroup for the second half, as Dolson ran into foul trouble as she was charged with her fourth foul with 16:16 remaining in the game. UConn responded with a 13 point run after Dolson's fourth foul, Auriemma felt that it did not have as large of impact as it could have.
"I thought we were playing pretty well Stef is such a huge key to our offense," said Auriemma. "When she came out of the game, had the game been played the way it was played in the first half it would have been a problem. But because of the momentum of the game and the way the game was flowing it didn't have the kind of effect that it would have had.
Dolson was not the only key player that ran into foul trouble during the course of the game. Duke's leading scorer Alexis Jones was charged with her fourth foul with 15:05 left to play, which was a major blow to the Blue Devil offense. The Huskies were able to buckle down on defense backed by solid play from Stewart as UConn held Duke scoreless for five and a half minutes which help seal the win for the Huskies.
UConn will be back in action when they travel to Cincinnati on Jan 26t. The game can be seen on SNY.
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