Hartley Paces Huskies Past Cougars, 72-24

Coming off a loss to No. 1 Baylor on Sunday night and the fact that the players’ minds may have been on heading home for the holidays, you weren’t quite sure how Geno Auriemma’s UConn Huskies would come out and play on Wednesday night in Charleston, SC.

One thing’s for sure, he definitely won’t be happy with the way his offense played, especially in the first half. But the defense was outstanding again in the 72-24 win over the College of Charleston Cougars at TD Arena in Charleston in front of a school record 3,863 fans.

The Huskies improve to 10-1 while the Cougars fall to 2-8.

Connecticut's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (23) goes for a layup against College of Charleston's Cathryn Hardy (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, in Charleston, S.C.Bria Hartley led the Huskies with 15 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 13 points and six rebounds. Kelly Faris had a great all around game with 10 points, six rebounds, three steals and led the Huskies with six assists.

Jazz Green led the Cougars with eight points, hitting two threes in the second half. Megan Fischer added seven points while Cathryn Hardy led College of Charleston with six rebounds to go along with her three points.

Folks, this one was ugly to start out.

Both teams combined to go 0-for-15 before Faris finally got the Huskies on the board with a three with 15:36 to go in the first half. UConn would score the first 10 points of the game before the Cougars finally got on the scoreboard at the 11:43 mark on a jumper by Christy Hewatt, which happened to be her only basket of the game.

With UConn leading 10-4, they would close out the first half with an 17-4 run to take a 20 point lead at 27-7 into the break.

The Huskies came out and played much better offensively to start the second half, opening it up with an 18-0 run. Fischer would finally get the Cougars on the board with a three with 11:46 remaining in the game.

It was all UConn from there as they continued to build their lead while working on their offensive sets the rest of the way.

Other than the outstanding defensive effort, it’s tough to be pleased with the offense other than the 18-0 run to start the second half. They were much better in the second half but they need to put together a solid 40 minute game on both ends of the floor. That’s one of the reasons why they lost to Baylor on Sunday.

The Huskies now head home for the holidays and are due back on campus for practice on the 26th as they prepare for their next game. That game comes in eight days when they’ll host the Fairfield Stags on December 29th at Gampel Pavilion. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast locally here in Connecticut on CPTV.

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Notes and musings:

UConn Huskies @ College of Charleston Cougars 12-21-11 box score

The last time UConn has lost consecutive games dates back to the 1992-93 season.

Former Husky, Kalana Greene, was honored at halftime of the game.

Heather Buck will be out of action for a little while with a wrist injury suffered in Sunday’s loss to Baylor. They said on the TV broadcast that her wrist could be broken but there’s been no official announcement yet.

The starters for UConn were Bria Hartley, Caroline Doty, Tiffany Hayes, Kelly Faris and Stefanie Dolson.

The Huskies shot 44.6% (29-65) from the floor while the Cougars shot 14.3% (7-of-39).

UConn had 20 assists on their 29 made baskets.

The Huskies were 9-of-14 (64.3%) from the charity stripe. Three of those misses were Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

UConn was 5-of-23 (21.7%) on threes while the College of Charleston was 3-of-15 (20%).

The Huskies dominated the glass, outrebounding the Cougars 50-30.

UConn had 19 points off of 24 College of Charleston turnovers. The Cougars had six points off of 14 Huskies turnovers.

The Huskies outscored the Cougars 32-2 in the paint and 12-0 on the fast break.

UConn had 20 second chance points to just five for the Cougars.

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Photo credit: AP Photo

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