Dayton 94, Buffalo 74

With its best player scoring six of the game’s first 13 points,

Buffalo trailed the nation’s second-ranked women’s basketball team

by only a single point.

Buffalo was perhaps feeling good about its chances of staying

close in a tough environment.

”I thought we started the game very well. The first 10 minutes

we were executing offense, we were handling their pressure, we were

taking care of the basketball.for the first 10 minutes,” Buffalo

coach Linda Hill-MacDonald said. ”Unfortunately it is a 40-minute

game.”

The rest of the game didn’t go nearly as well as Hill-MacDonald

had hoped.

Tiffany Hayes had 30 points and 11 rebounds and No. 2

Connecticut beat Buffalo 90-34 Saturday night in the World Vision

Classic.

”We have a lot of different options as far as scoring,” Hayes

said. ”When it’s your night, it’s your night. It just happened to

be my night. And a lot of it came from something that I’ve been

working on lately, that was rebounding.”

Buffalo (2-4), which was eventually undone by 32 turnovers, was

led by Brittany Hedderson’s 12 points.

Stefanie Dolson added 17 points and six rebounds for UConn

(5-0), which held a 49-22 advantage on the boards.

Hayes, a senior guard from Lakeland, Fla., was 10 of 15 from the

floor and 9 of 9 from the free-throw line. She just missed her

career high of 32 points, but added a career-high five steals.

”She did a little bit of everything today,” Dolson said of

Hayes said. ”She rebounded great, she made open shots, she

attacked the basket. I think we definitely need this from her every

night.”

The win was UConn’s 88th consecutive at home, extending its

Division I record and tying the all time NCAA record set by

Division III Rust (Miss.) College from 1982-89.

The Huskies actually had some trouble with turnovers (10) in the

first half, but still led 44-14. That’s because Buffalo committed

20 turnovers in the same span and UConn ended the first half on a

19-0 run.

”They’re everywhere. They’re so long and athletic and quick,”

Hill-MacDonald said of the Huskies’ pressure defense.

”If your spacing is bad, if your passes get too high or too

slow or too low, then they’re going to take the ball from you. I

thought we, many times, were passing the ball too long.”

Hayes had 24 points, five rebounds and four steals by

halftime.

”When Tiffany plays like she’s playing that whole first half,

with the kind of aggressiveness that she had, it’s awfully

comforting to the rest of the team,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma

said. ”Tonight it wasn’t just staying out there and shooting 3s,

being one-dimensional. She did a lot of things that we’ve seen her

do in the past.”

Dayton beat Fairleigh Dickinson 84-48 earlier Saturday in the

round-robin event. The Flyers and Huskies will play Sunday for the

tournament’s title.

Auriemma was actually a bit disappointed in his team’s execution

during Friday’s 74-28 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, but saw plenty

more he liked against Buffalo some 24 hours later.

”I thought it was a lot better,” Auriemma said.

Already ahead 59-26 midway through the second half, the Huskies

scored 17 straight points to turn the game into a rout. Heather

Buck capped the spurt with a steal and breakaway layup that put the

Huskies up 76-26.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, the freshman forward who entered the

game as UConn’s leading scorer, had just two points and missed all

eight of her shots from the floor. Still, Mosqueda-Lewis helped the

Huskies with seven assists, three steals and two blocks.

Auriemma jokingly referred to Mosqueda-Lewis as ”Baby Jesus”

because of her potential and some of the outlandish predictions

about her career, but also praised her for playing rather well when

her jump shot was off its mark.

”She might be the best passer that we have into the post,”

Auriemma said. ”She finds Stefanie a lot.”