Still, UConn had more than enough personnel to deal with the Hoyas, who came into the game with a three-game winning streak.
Faris took this as a personal challenge after Notre Dame’s Kayla McBride scored 21 on her clock on Saturday.
Rodgers did not score her first basket until the 10-minute mark of the first half, and by that time the Huskies were ahead 23-11. She ended the half in more customary fashion (11 points) but she was 4 of 11 in 19 minutes.
Faris was also the key to UConn’s offense in the first half, making her first four shots, including three three-pointers. Her 11 points helped the Huskies open a 28-11 lead with 7:50 to play.
Faris’ scoring was critical because Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was benched for most of the half after three early fouls. Mosqueda-Lewis hit a three to make it 6-2 and did not score again for the remainder of a first half in which she played just four minutes.
And Hartley’s struggles continued in the first half. She had two points, two fouls and three turnovers in the first 10 minutes. She made only one of her first eight shots before making a couple of quick threes in the second half to help UConn to a 55-35 lead.
“We were getting a little too far ahead of ourselves in the first half,” Stewart said.
Until then, it was Moriah Jefferson [nine points, seven steals] who did the most to support Faris. The freshman gave the Huskies a spark with her ability to penetrate, her defense and her ability to make shots.
“She was the star of the game,” Auriemma said.