No. 2 UConn women win 17th straight, 96-31 over Cincinnati
CINCINNATI (AP) Connecticut’s offense just keeps rolling up big numbers.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half, missing only one shot all game, and No. 2 Connecticut picked up its 17th straight victory on Sunday, 96-31 over Cincinnati and former Huskies star Jamelle Elliott.
The Huskies (18-1, 8-0 American Athletic) haven’t loss since falling at Stanford 88-86 in overtime on Nov. 17. UConn’s seven wins in January have come by 36, 38, 59, 34, 42, 55 and 65 points.
UConn has scored at least 92 points in five of the last six games despite resting its starters a lot because the Huskies were so far ahead.
”We’re just in a place right now where, especially with our starters, the points just come so easily and come so quickly when we’re making shots like that,” coach Geno Auriemma said. ”We’re in that mode right now where we’re just making a lot of shots.”
Mosqueda-Lewis went 7 of 8 from the field, playing only 16 minutes. Breanna Stewart also had 19 points in 16 minutes. Once again, the starters rested as UConn pulled away.
”Our starters don’t pay much attention to it, that we’re only getting that many minutes,” Mosqueda-Lewis said. ”We want to make sure that we’re productive during that time. We want to set the tempo for the team and an example for the people coming off the bench.”
The Bearcats (5-14, 2-6) fell behind 22-0 and went more than 6 minutes before getting their first basket on a put-back. Cincinnati is 0-12 all-time against UConn, with this one the most lopsided outcome.
”What can you say?” Elliott said. ”Same UConn result, different year. Every year they get really good players. You know, the good keep getting good.
”They came in here – I don’t know what word you use – they were generous to us going to zone early and we still weren’t able to make shots.”
Auriemma is a close friend of Elliott, who is in her sixth season as Cincinnati’s coach. As a player, Elliott helped UConn win its first national title in 1995. She was Auriemma’s assistant for a dozen years before getting the job at Cincinnati. The two of them went out to dinner on Saturday night.
UConn scored the first 22 points and held the Bearcats without a field goal until Marley Hill grabbed a teammate’s short 3-point shot and scored with 13:53 left the half. Cincinnati opened the game by missing its first eight shots and turning it over four times.
Auriemma started wholesale substitutions midway through the first half, easing up with a 33-2 lead.
Auriemma struggles with finding the balance between playing his starters enough and resting them in lopsided games.
”It’s not ideal,” he said. ”It’s not easy on them. I don’t know. We just keep going and do what we do and see what happens down the road.”
SWAT `EM AWAY
Kiah Stokes blocked three shots, and UConn swatted away six overall. The Huskies lead the nation in blocked shots.
Connecticut: Mosqueda-Lewis moved into UConn’s top 10 in career scoring. She now has 1,874 points.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats scored a season-low 13 points in the first half, going 6 for 28 from the field – and missing all 12 3-point shots – while turning it over nine times.
Connecticut hosts East Carolina on Wednesday, and then plays at Temple. The Huskies host Cincinnati on Feb. 3, when Auriemma would have a chance to get his 900th career win.
Cincinnati hosts Memphis on Wednesday and Houston on Saturday.
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