On Saturday against Memphis, UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma took out the reigning player-of-the year, Breanna Stewart, as well as her teammates Morgan Tuck and Kiah Stokes and sat them on the bench for the bulk of the game.

Message received.

UConn F Breanna Stewart (30) gets ready to block the shot of South Carolina G Biana Cuevas (1) in the second half at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, CT.On Monday night with the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks in snowy Storrs, CT, Stewart and Tuck set the tone in the paint. And when all was said and done, the UConn Huskies came out with an 87-62 win over the Gamecocks in front of a nationally televised audience at a sold-out Gampel Pavilion despite the adverse weather conditions.

UConn improves to 23-1 and should take over the top spot in the USA Today Coaches Poll on Tuesday. It’s the first loss for the Gamecocks who are now 22-1.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led the way for the Huskies with 23 points, including five-of-six on three-pointers. Stewart added 22 points, a team-high eight rebounds and five blocked shots while Tuck had 17 points and six assists.

Moriah Jefferson rounded the Huskies in double digits with 16 points and six assists.

Aleighsa Welch paced the Gamecocks with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tiffany Mitchell also had 17 points while freshman A’Ja Wilson had 10 points.

After watching UConn dismantle South Carolina with their quickness on Monday night, it’s safe to say the road to the NCAA Championship once again goes through the two-time defending champions.

The Huskies are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they’ll host the Tulane Green Wave at Gampel. Tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.

South Carolina Gamecocks @ UConn Huskies 2/9/15 box score

Here are the postgame quotes from UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.

Here at the postgame notes for the UConn Huskies.

photo credit: ©2015 Ian Bethune