www.baltimoresun.com/sports/hc-uconn-women-0110-7548-20130110,0,3636384.story

baltimoresun.com

UConn Women Dominate Georgetown, 75-48

By JOHN ALTAVILLA

jaltavilla@courant.com

11:29 AM EST, January 10, 2013

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WASHINGTON — Over the past two decades the UConn women have lost just 51 times. It was 50 before Notre Dame beat it to knock the Huskies from the top of the polls last week. You might remember that one.

Those 51 defeats have been caused by a variety of reasons and occurred on all types of stages.

But they all have one thing in common. None of them has been followed by another defeat.

This run, perhaps the truest sign of the program’s consistency in the championship era, continued Wednesday when the No. 3 Huskies routed Georgetown 75-48 at the McDonough Arena.

The Huskies (13-1, 1-1) have now gone 707 games, dating to March 1993, without back-to-back defeats. They play at Marquette on Saturday, where the streak will extend again.

“I haven’t really given that much thought,” Auriemma said. “I am sure guys that keep stats for a living do. But I do get reminded of it every time we lose a game.”

Kelly Faris led the Huskies with 15 points, five steals and four rebounds. Freshman Breanna Stewart had 12 points and 13 rebounds. She scored 10 straight points shortly before leaving the game in the final four minutes. Stefanie Dolson added 13 points and Bria Hartley had 12.

Sugar Rodgers led the Hoyas (10-5, 1-1) with 23 points. But she was 8 of 22 from the field.

The Huskies took a program-record 41 three-pointers. They made 14.

After losing to Notre Dame by one, the Huskies took two days to regroup before returning to practice on Tuesday.

Faris called Wednesday perhaps the most important day of the year because it would be a chance to recommit to the methods that carried the team to 12 straight wins.

But this wasn’t easy, at least until a torrent of UConn three-pointers opened a 62-37 lead with 12:43 to play.

Rodgers told the Washington Post on Wednesday she wanted to beat UConn at least once before her career ends. And the Hoyas played with a lot of inspiration.

They packed a tight, committed zone that made it tough for the Huskies to get the ball inside. And once again, UConn’s outside shooting almost wasn’t good enough to compensate.

In the first half, UConn built a 38-23 lead despite making only 5 of 19 from three and authoring 14 turnovers. They ended with 19.

“We have got to take better care of the ball,” Faris said. “We had way too many turnovers. And that killed us.”

Four of the threes belonged to Faris. The remainder of the team was 1 of 14.

“What did I say at the half?” Auriemma said. “I told [them] that all those shots you’ve been missing … start making them. That was my big half-time speech.”

What Auriemma didn’t have Wednesday was a full complement of players. He thought he would have once sophomore Kiah Stokes was cleared to return after missing games with a stress reaction in her right leg.

But on Wednesday morning, the Huskies scratched Morgan Tuck, the freshman forward, who returned three games ago after dealing with a bruised right knee.

Still, UConn had more than enough personnel to deal with the Hoyas, who came into the game with a three-game winning streak.

Rodgers, the nation’s leading scorer (26.1), also takes more shots than anyone in the country. So UConn knew who to look for when the ball was in Georgetown’s hands.

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.