No. 2 UConn 81, Marist 39

Four games into the season, and nobody has come within 30 points
of Connecticut.

Freshman Breanna Stewart had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the
second-ranked Huskies continued to roll through the Paradise Jam
tournament with an 81-39 win over Marist on Friday night.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 points for UConn while Kelly
Faris and Moriah Jefferson each had 10.

Marist (2-3) was led by Emma O’Connor who had a career-high 18
points, but fouled out with just over 4 minutes left in the
game.

”We beat a pretty solid team,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma.
”We didn’t play great, but we played good enough. When we had
great possessions we scored, and then there were times when we just
had empty possessions. As we go along in the season we’ll fix
those.”

Connecticut blew the game open early, holding Marist without a
field goal for more than 13 minutes while building a 42-14 halftime
lead.

Jefferson said the team enjoys playing defense.

”It’s hard-nosed and push up on everybody,” she said. ”I
think I fit in well on the defensive side.”

UConn (4-0), which routed Wake Forest 95-34 on Thursday, will
close out the tournament Saturday against No,. 14 Purdue. The
Boilermakers also are undefeated in the tournament and beat the
Deacons 67-53 earlier Friday.

UConn opened the game in a full-court press and hit four of its
first six shots from 3-point range. They used a 9-0 run to jump out
to an early 17-5 advantage.

It was 22-9 before the Huskies went on their decisive 18-0 run,
sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers from Stewart.

But it was the defense that dominated. UConn forced 15
first-half turnovers, and Marist shot just 23 percent from the
field for the half and just over 25 percent for the game.

The Red Foxes made a little run to open the second half, scoring
the first five points. But they went on another scoring drought
during a 9-0 run put UConn up 64-28 midway through the half.

The Huskies shot 50 percent from the field hit 13 of 29 shots
from 3-point range. They outrebounded Marist 42-23.

Junior guard Bria Hartley, who played in her first game of the
season Thursday after missing the first two with an injured left
ankle, played just 13 minutes and finished with a single point, but
led the team with five assists.

Her scoring wasn’t needed. Stewart took care of that, making
eight of her 12 shots. It was the first career double-double for
the 6-foot-4 freshman.

”You’ll definitely see a lot more of those,” said Faris. ”She
works hard to get those and obviously it shows how much of a
versatile player she is.”

She is averaging 18 points a game.

The Huskies haven’t lost a regular-season tournament game since
being beaten by Vanderbilt in the 1992 Hilton Head Super Shooting,
a streak of 48-consecutive games.

UConn improves to 316-4 in its last 320 games against unranked
teams, and are now 4-0 all-time against Marist, a team they hadn’t
faced since 2005.

Marist will finish its tournament Saturday against Wake
Forest.