It’s always nice to see former UConn Huskies come back to Gampel Pavilion as an opposing coach. But sometimes you have to wonder how much they like coming back and being dominated by their mentor.

Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Jamelle Elliott brought her team into a Big East matchup with her college coach and mentor Geno Auriemma hoping to give him a run for his money. Instead she found her team getting thumped.

Tiffany Hayes led the way for the Huskies with 17 points in UConn’s 80-37 win over the Bearcats in front of a small crowd of 6,317 at Gampel on Thursday night.

No. 3 UConn moves to 16-2 (5-1 Big East) while the Bearcats fall to 9-9 (0-5).

Connecticut's Tiffany Hayes comes in for a shot past Cincinnati's Tiffany Turner in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.Hayes also added seven rebounds and four steals to the cause while Stefanie Dolson had a nice night with 14 points and eight rebounds. While all of the 11 Huskies who played in the game scored at least two points, only Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was able to reach double figures with 10 points and had seven rebounds.

As she seems to do all of the time, Kelly Faris had a nice all around game with eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. Bria Hartley matched Faris with four assists and added six points.

Dayeesha Hollins led all scorers in the game with 18 points and pulled down a team-high four rebounds for the Bearcats. Chanel Chisholm added nine points but had seven turnovers.

Believe it or not, this game was a lot closer than the final score, at least in the early part of the first half.

Hollins did all she could to keep the game close for the Bearcats as she scored her team’s first thirteen points. Her 13th point made it 17-13 UConn with 11:14 to go in the half. Baskets by Dolson and KML pushed the lead to eight before Cincy would get it down to five on an old fashioned three-point play by Bjonee Reaves.

But that’s as close as the Bearcats would get in the game as the Huskies defensive pressure helped shutdown Cincy’s offense. UConn would use that great defense to turn up their offense as they used a 21-3 run to close out the half and take complete control of the game.

It was more of the same in the second half as UConn would continue to wear down Cincinnati while building their lead up.

While I’m sure Auriemma won’t be happy with the effort of his team early and their inability to stop Hollins, he should be pleased with the effort of Dolson down low in the post. She worked hard to get open and her teammates got her the ball, something we’ve only seen on occasion at times this season.

Sure there are times when going to Dolson might not work out depending on whom they play (ie Villanova), but I feel as though when they go through Dolson whether her scoring or her passing the ball, they are a much better team. The more confidence you can give Dolson, the better UConn is as a team.

After spending last Saturday visiting an old friend in Philadelphia, Auriemma will get to see another old friend in Doug Bruno in Chicago on Saturday. The Huskies will take on Bruno’s DePaul Blue Demons at 8 p.m. at McGrath-Phillips Arena. The game will be broadcast locally in Connecticut on CPTV.

To continue reading the Cincinnati Bearcats @ UConn Huskies recap, please click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

Notes and musings:

Cincinnati Bearcats @ UConn Huskies 1.19.12 box score

Here are the postgame quotes from UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and Cincinnati head coach Jamelle Elliott. There are also UConn player quotes available.

The Huskies have now won 96 straight games at home. Included in that 96 games is 58 consecutive Big East regular season wins.

As has been the case all season, the starting five for UConn was Bria Hartley, Caroline Doty, Tiffany Hayes, Kelly Faris and Stefanie Dolson.

The Huskies shot 52.4% (33-63) from the floor while the Bearcats shot 31.8% (14-44).

UConn had 17 assists on their 33 made baskets. Cincinnati had just three assists on their 14 made baskets.

The Huskies were 8-of-20 (40%) from beyond the arc. The Bearcats were 3-of-13 (23.1%).

UConn was 6-of-9 (66.7%) from the charity stripe.

The Huskies dominated the glass, outrebounding Cincinnati 42-24.

UConn outscored the Bearcats 40-16 in the paint.

Cincinnati outscored the Huskies 13-2 on the fast break.

UConn had 26 second chance points to just three for the Bearcats.

The Huskies had 31 points off of 25 Cincinnati turnovers. The Bearcats had 10 points off of 16 UConn turnovers.

Cincinnati never led in the game.

Hayes went over the 1500 career point plateau (1,507) with her 17 points.

Caroline Doty now has 100 career three-pointers made.

Follow Ian on Twitter @soxanddawgs. And be sure to like us on Facebook as well.

Photo credit: AP Photo