The UConn Huskies women's basketball team has dominated the Duke Blue Devils as of late. However, the Blue Devils were the only undefeated team in women's basketball and figured to challenge the Huskies on a snowy evening in Storrs, CT.
That challenge didn't happen though.
Behind a 27-7 run to start the second half, UConn went on to beat the Blue Devils 79-49 in front of 9,671 and a nationally televised audience at Gampel Pavilion on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The Huskies improve to 17-1 while Duke falls to 16-1.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led the way for UConn with 21 points and had six rebounds. Kelly Faris had a monster game for the Huskies with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. She also added six assists and two steals.
After a slow start, Breanna Stewart finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Bria Hartley had a career-high nine assists along with six points.
Alexis Jones paced the Blue Devils with 14 points and had five rebounds and four assists. Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters both added 11 points with Williams having a team-high five rebounds.
The game was everything we expected in the first half. A nice tight ball game.
The Huskies got out to a five point lead early on at 11-6 before Duke rallied to take the lead with an 8-2 run. The game stayed close the rest of the way during the first half as the teams traded baskets.
Part of the reason, the game was close because the Huskies had trouble with turnovers yet again. Head coach Geno Auriemma has been harping about that and you know he wasn't pleased with the 12 they had.
In a funny moment before the start of the second half, UConn assistant head coach Chris Dailey actually led a chant of "No More Turnovers" with the UConn crowd.
It was obvious whatever Auriemma said to his team about taking care of the ball worked. Either that or the Huskies listened to what the crowd was chanting.
UConn would enter the second half with a two point lead at 32-30. And after an exchange of baskets to start the second half, UConn went on a 20-5 run to seize control and never looked back from there.
Faris may not end up on any All-American teams at the end of the season. But one thing is for certain.
She is the glue of this team. She is what makes this team tick. And her strong play on Monday night is what helped the Huskies win this game and once again spank the Blue Devils.
Next up for the Huskies is a visit to Cincinnati, OH and old friend Jamelle Elliott's Cincinnati Bearcats squad on Saturday night. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m.
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Here are the postgame quotes from UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.
Here are UConn's postgame notes.
Here are Duke's postgame notes.
photo credit: richard messina – hartford courant (no. 8 in gallery)