Top-ranked UConn women rout Temple 80-36
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP)
Temple coach Tonya Cardoza spent 14 seasons as an assistant at Connecticut, so she knew the challenges her team would face on Saturday.
Bria Hartley scored 19 points, Kiah Stokes grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and UConn blew out the Owls 80-36 in a game played 80 miles from the Connecticut campus in Bridgeport.
Erica Covile had 13 points on 5 of 11 shooting and seven rebounds to lead Temple (8-7, 2-3), which has lost three of its last four games.
''Once the snowball began, it just rolled and we couldn't contain it,'' Cardoza said. ''They just have way too many weapons for us.''
The Owls stayed with UConn early, trailing just 13-12 after a 3-pointer by Feyonda Fitzgerald. But UConn went on a 11-2 run from there and led 39-22 at halftime.
Jefferson had three steals in the first 3 minutes of the second half, and Hartley hit a 3-pointer that capped a 9-2 run to make it 47-24. A layup by Stokes capped a 17-0 run that gave UConn a 67-27 lead and turned the game into a rout.
The Huskies held Temple without a basket for almost 7 minutes during that stretch.
''I felt like for the first 15 minutes we really competed, and I would just like to see us compete for 40 minutes,'' Cardoza said.
Moriah Jefferson added 13 points and Stewart scored 12 for the Huskies (17-0, 5-0 American), who extended their winning streak to 23 games.
UConn outscored Temple 44-14 in the paint, despite playing much of the first half without Dolson, who had three early fouls, and Stewart, who sat with two. Dolson finished the game with eight points and seven of UConn's 14 blocked shots. Stokes and Stewart each had three blocks.
Temple outrebounded the UConn 42-39, despite Stokes' effort, which included seven offensive boards. The Owls had 22 offensive boards, to just 12 for UConn.
''At least we were being aggressive and trying to get in there against them,'' said Cardoza, who fell to 0-2 against her mentor.
UConn defeated Temple 90-36 in the second round of the 2010 NCAA tournament. The Owls coaching staff also includes former UConn forward Willnett Crockett, who won two national championships while playing for the Huskies.
The game, played during UConn's winter break, gave the fans and donors in Fairfield County a chance to see the team. A sold-out crowd of more than 9,200 fans watched the team's first regular-season ''home'' game played outside of Storrs or Hartford.
''It had, almost that big-game feel,'' said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. ''I don't know that on the schedule you look and say, `Well Temple's a big game,' but there is something to be said for going someplace where they don't get to see you very often and they are very appreciative and they enjoy it.''
The Huskies are averaging just under 8,000 fans in nine home games in Storrs and Hartford this season. They've played 10 NCAA tournament games in Bridgeport and lost just once, to Duke in overtime in the 2006 regional final.
UConn's 23-game winning streak dates back to last year's run to the program's eighth national title. That's the seventh longest streak in the history of the program, which holds the NCAA record of 90 straight wins set in 2010.