No. 3 UConn 105, Idaho 37
Idaho’s players had grown up watching Connecticut on television
and were anxious to find out how they stacked up to the
third-ranked team in the nation.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led six UConn players in double figures
and the top-seeded Huskies routed the Vandals 105-37 on
”We certainly got the full show,” said Idaho coach Jon Newlee,
whose team was making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament
Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 22 points, all in the first half.
Morgan Tuck had 18, Moriah Jefferson chipped in 16 and Kiah Stokes
scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Huskies (30-4)
advanced to the second round for the 20th straight time in their
25th consecutive tournament appearance.
”Today was perfect for getting our legs back, our momentum, our
confidence,” said center Stefanie Dolson, who finished with 10
points. ”Having everyone be a part of it was definitely a good
Stacey Barr had 14 points for Idaho (17-16), which was playing
its second NCAA tournament game ever after upsetting Seattle for
the Western Athletic Conference title.
UConn led by as many as 74 in the second half before Idaho made
five 3-pointers in the last 4 minutes, four from Barr.
That kept the Huskies for setting a record for biggest margin of
victory ever in an NCAA tournament game. That belongs to Tennessee
which beat North Carolina A&T by 74 points in 1994.
UConn had first-round wins of 71 points over Hampton in 2000 and
72 against Long Island in 2001.
”It’s kind of nice not to be put in the record book for
something like that,” Barr said.
Connecticut put this one away early, opening the game with a
22-3 run and holding Idaho without a basket for more than 5
The Huskies led 58-17 at the break, and it didn’t get didn’t get
better for the Vandals after halftime. UConn stretched the lead to
69-17 on a 3-pointer by Kelly Faris. Kiah Stokes’ jumper with more
than 12 minutes to go, made it 78-18. The Vandals scored their
first point of the second half on a free throw with 12:31 left.
A basket by little used Heather Buck pushed the lead past 70 at
Connecticut shot 61 percent from the floor, while holding Idaho
to 14 baskets on 53 attempts (26 percent).
UConn outrebounded Idaho 45-23, and outscored the Vandals in the
”We had a great experience with what top-of-the-nation
basketball looks like,” said Idaho forward Alyssa Charlston.
”That gives us something to look at next season and going into the
summer. We need to look at that. Coach was talking about how hard
we need to go every single play and UConn does that every single
UConn played the game without one of its key post players.
Freshman Breanna Stewart injured her left calf in practice on
Friday, and sat out as a precaution. She is expected to be ready to
play on Monday.
The Huskies are trying for a record sixth consecutive trip to
the Final Four and an eighth national championship. They have won
30 games for an NCAA record eighth straight season.
The 30th win came on coach Geno Auriemma’s 59th birthday. The
Huskies are 8-1 when playing on that day, the lone loss coming to
North Carolina State in the 1998 regional final.
UConn is a top seed for the seventh straight year. The Huskies
are 21-2 in first-round games, which doesn’t include the two
seasons they received first-round byes.
They came in having won their last six first-round games by an
average of 41 points.
The win was the 86th for the Huskies in the NCAA tournament,
second only to Tennessee’s 112.
Idaho, which was making only the third trip to the East Coast in
program history, also lost in the first round in 1985, 74-51 to
Cheryl Miller and Southern California.
This year’s team lost nine of their first 20 games, but finished
strong, winning 14 of their final 20, and swept through the Western
Athletic Conference tournament.
”This is just the first step for us and our program and where
we want to be,” said Newlee. ”UConn started somewhere. Just like
we are now.”