No. 2 UConn women beat Towson 92-31By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)—Geno Auriemma wants his guard-dominated Connecticut team to play pressure defense and run and gun on offense.
The Huskies (7-0) showed off that style Wednesday night, forcing 30 turnovers and hitting 12 3-point shots in routing Towson 91-32.
“That’s the strength of our team,” Auriemma said. “We have a bunch of guards with a certain skill level that translates well with full-court stuff. They are good with the ball in the open floor, and we’re a pretty good shooting team. It’s an appropriate way to play for this particular team.”
Bria Hartley had 24 points and five assists and freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 points for No. 2 UConn (7-0), which extended its NCAA-record home-court winning streak to 90 games
The Huskies, who had four players in double figures, have won 163 straight against non-ranked opponents, and 256 in a row against the unranked at home.
Camille Alberson had nine points to lead Towson (4-2), which had 20 in the first half, when the Huskies jumped out to a 52-14 lead.
Connecticut, which shot 60 percent from the floor, opened in a pressure defense and led 8-0 just 2 minutes into the game as Kelly Faris stole the ball at half court and drove for a layup.
It was 12-6 when the Huskies went on a 17-0 run, scoring the last 15 points of that stretch from behind the arc. Mosqueda-Lewis had four 3-pointers in 2 1/2 minutes during that run.
Connecticut hit eight 3s in the first half, scored 28 points off the 20 Towson turnovers and led 52-14 at the break.
“We just want to make our defense become our offense,” said Hartley, who also had four steals. “We go out there, high intensity on defense, get a lot of steals, get our hands on passes and I think we came out really strong doing that today.”
The Huskies stretched the lead in the second half, going on a 19-2 run that made it 88-25, despite emptying the bench.
Tiffany Hayes finished with 16 points and Stefanie Dolson had 11.
The Huskies had one minor scare when junior guard Caroline Doty banged her head on the floor after being fouled on a drive to the basket with just under 5 minutes left in the first half. Doty, who missed half her freshman year and all of last season with knee injuries, did not return from the locker room at halftime.
UConn officials said she had a mild head and neck injury and was staying inside to avoid the crowd noise.
“She landed on her hip and then her shoulder and then her head and she just had a headache,” Auriemma said. “By the end of the game she was fine.”
Mosqueda-Lewis, averaging a team-high 15.5 points per game coming in, scored 20 for the fourth time this season. She hit five of her eight 3-point shots, a skill she says she had to develop over the past few years.
“I wasn’t a shooter before, I was a post player before and I couldn’t shoot 3s worth a lick,” she said. “It’s a lot of hard work. My dad and I were in the gym for hours every day.”
The game was Towson coach Joe Mathews’ 300th at the school, and his 177th loss.
Both the Tigers’ losses this season have come to Top 10 teams. They were beaten by No. 6 Maryland 82-46 on Nov. 16 and had won three in a row before facing the Huskies.
Towson opens its conference schedule on Sunday at home against James Madison.
“Our conference is very strong and very tough and challenging every night,” Mathews said. “You have to play better competition to be prepared for it. I don’t think you can play much better than UConn and Maryland at this point.”
Connecticut hasn’t lost in November since 2004, when North Carolina beat the Huskies 71-65. This was UConn’s 14th perfect November in past 15 seasons.
UConn has almost a week off before hosting defending national champion Texas A&M next Tuesday, the last of eight consecutive home games to begin the season.