Top-Ranked UConn routs Cincinnati 67-34
Cincinnati had a simple game plan against top-ranked Connecticut
– stop the Huskies’ transition game, and force UConn to make at
least four or five passes on each offensive possession.
The Bearcats forced UConn into a half-court game and held the
Huskies to 19 points below their season average, but lost 67-34 on
”They still beat us by 30; they are the No. 1 team in the
country,” said Cincinnati coach Jamelle Elliott, a former UConn
player and assistant coach. ”But there are some small individual
goals that we accomplished that’s going to help our guys move
forward from this 30-point loss.”
Cincinnati (7-5, 0-1 American Athletic Conference), which is
winless in nine meetings against the Huskies, was led by Jeanise
Randolph who had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Breanna Stewart recorded her fourth straight double-double for
Connecticut (13-0, 1-0 American), scoring 12 points and pulling
down 12 rebounds. She also had four steals and two blocked shots.
Moriah Jefferson and Bria Hartley each added 12 points.
The Huskies held Cincinnati scoreless for the game’s first six
minutes and led 16-0 before Kayla Cook got the Bearcats on the
board with a 3-pointer. UConn led by 13 at halftime and used a 16-3
run in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had seven points during the Huskies early
run, but also picked up three early fouls and had to sit for the
final 14 minutes of the first half and didn’t score again.
”We kind of got stuck, and we stayed stuck for the rest of the
first half,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma.
Cincinnati responded by scoring 14 of the next 20 points and
outscoring UConn 20-17 the rest of the half. A 3-pointer by Marley
Hill just before the halftime buzzer cut the UConn lead to
”After that first run they got on us, I thought we played
pretty good basketball up until the end of the first half,”
Cincinnati cut the lead to 35-24 before UConn took control.
Hartley went end-to-end after rebounding a missed jumper by Bianca
Quisenberry to give UConn a 51-27 lead and force a Cincinnati
”It’s always good to win a game when you’re not making shots
and you have to find other ways to compete and get into the game,”
Hartley said. ”Even though our offense wasn’t good today, we were
able to come out and play well defensively.
UConn, which came in shooting almost 52 percent from the floor,
was held to 41 percent, including 36 percent in the first half. But
the Bearcats were worse, shooting 25 percent, hitting just 13 of 53
shots from the floor.
Mosqueda-Lewis said that had a lot to do with Stewart getting in
the passing lanes and disrupting the Bearcats’ offense.
”Coach has been talking about how we have to be complete
players and we have to be mature,” she said. ”When you miss
shots, you can’t disappear, especially when you’re as good a player
as she is. You have to do other things.”
The Bearcats’, who came in on a five-game winning streak, also
got a bit banged up. The team’s leading scorer, Dayeesha Hollins,
went out in the first half after hyperextending her right elbow
diving for a loose ball. She returned, with that elbow heavily
wrapped, and finished with just five points. Forward Alexis Durley
also went down hard after a first-half foul by Stefanie Dolson and
came back into the game with her right shoulder wrapped.
”I think Day’s (injury) is a little more serious,” said
Elliott. ”I just hope with some treatment these guys will be ready
to go in a couple days.”
The Huskies played five Top 25 teams during their non-conference
schedule, with Baylor still to come in January, winning those games
by an average of 22 points. The conference schedule promises to be
less of a challenge. UConn and Louisville are the only ranked teams
in the American and they will face each other twice.
UConn is 64-7 against AAC opponents with six of those losses
coming to Rutgers, a team they have not lost to in the last five
seasons. The other defeat came against Louisville, in 1993.
The Huskies took time before Sunday’s game to honor their
national championship teams from 2003 and 2004, unveiling plaques
on the arena’s wall of honor. Several former players attended the
ceremony, but star Diana Taurasi was not among them. She is playing
UConn now heads south for a New Year’s Day game against Central
Florida. Cincinnati will visit SMU.