No. 2 UConn 90, Buffalo 34

If Tiffany Hayes isn’t Connecticut’s top scoring threat this

season, it bodes pretty well for the Huskies that their secondary

option can have a game like this.

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.”

”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.”

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 she did add 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.”

Buffalo (2-4), which committed 32 turnovers, was led by Brittany

Hedderson’s 12 points.

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,”

Buffalo coach Linda 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.

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

UConn 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.”