No. 2 Duke women routed by No. 1 UConn, 83-61

Another undefeated start to a season for No. 2 Duke. Another

high-profile meeting with Connecticut. Another lopsided loss.

The top-ranked Huskies spoiled yet another of the Blue Devils’

perfect starts by blowing them out, the latest coming Tuesday night

in an 83-61 rout.

Chelsea Gray had 13 points and Haley Peters finished with 11 for

Duke (10-1).

The Blue Devils went 8 1/2 minutes between baskets while missing

12 shots in a row during the pivotal stretch that brought the end

of their 24-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium – a run

that dated to UConn’s last visit in 2011.

”There’s a lot of energy in the building, but we just didn’t

maintain it for ourselves with each other,” Peters said, ”and we

didn’t use it in the right way all the time.”

The Huskies, the only visitors to beat Duke on its home floor

since 2008, now have done it three times since anybody else has

found a way to do it once.

UConn also spoiled an undefeated start by the Blue Devils with a

rout for the third time in four seasons.

”We didn’t do what we needed to do defensively,” coach Joanne

P. McCallie said. ”We didn’t rebound the way we need to rebound.

And we showed little patience on offense at critical times.”

UConn got a career-high seven 3-pointers from Kaleena

Mosqueda-Lewis in her first game back from injury. Breanna Stewart

had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies (11-0), and Stefanie

Dolson had 14 points and Bria Hartley finished with 13.

Stewart ”showed why she’s the best player in the country, and

obviously (Mosqueda-Lewis) enjoyed her first game back,” McCallie

said. ”And we didn’t help matters much.”

UConn shot 49 percent and pushed its lead well into the 20s,

turning the 52nd meeting of Nos. 1 and 2 into the latest blowout in

this series.

”I think I would be less than honest if I said I thought we

could come in here and win by 20,” coach Geno Auriemma said.

”Simply because we haven’t played in (12 days). We weren’t sure

what we were going to get from (Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck).

And I thought Duke being at home and they’ve got a bunch of

upperclassmen … it would be a little bit different.”

It wasn’t.

UConn won its seventh straight in the series – the previous six

were decided by an average of nearly 30 points.

Stewart did much of the early damage in her first appearance in

front of the Cameron Crazies – or at least what was left of them,

with the Duke students on winter break. She was four points shy of

the career high she matched last month against Oregon.

And every time Duke threatened to make a run, the Huskies found

a way to get Mosqueda-Lewis a clean look from behind the 3-point

line. She was especially accurate from the corners while showing no

signs of rust after missing eight games with a nerve contusion on

her right elbow.

”I don’t think we would have won the game the way we won it

without her,” Auriemma said.

The Blue Devils, who spent the second half trying to claw their

way back into the game, pulled to 65-52 on Elizabeth Williams’

layup with just under 8 minutes left.

After a timeout, UConn worked the ball around the perimeter to

Mosqueda-Lewis, who swished her fifth 3 to restore the Huskies’

18-point lead and help them pull away for their 17th straight

win.

”That’s something that coach has been telling me since last

year – that I need to shoot every shot like it’s the last shot, and

shoot every shot like it’s an important shot,” Mosqueda-Lewis

said.

Tricia Liston and Alexis Jones each finished with 10 points for

Duke, which earned just five free throws and was 4 of 18 from

3-point range.

”Horrible shot selection,” McCallie said. ”Chucking up

shots.”

The Blue Devils were denied their first win over a No. 1 team

since 2007 – and were in serious danger of being run right off its

home floor in the first half.

Stewart scored 15 points in the half, and 12 of those came

during the 13-minute span in which the Huskies outscored Duke 35-11

and turned a one-point deficit into a 38-15 lead.

”You can’t necessarily win a game in five minutes, but you can

lose a game in five minutes if you don’t do certain things, and

then your body language and the way you react in those five

minutes,” Auriemma said. ”… If we score enough points during

those six minutes and you don’t, it’s going to be hard to catch

up.”

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