The second-ranked Huskies moved to 7-0 with a 63-48 win over No. 9 Maryland Monday night. And while the final score might indicate a relatively easy win, the Terps' physical style made things closer than they otherwise might have been.
"They were pretty resilient in their own right," coach Geno Auriemma said after the game. "And they made some shots, some runners and a couple things, that I think when those go in, you get a little bit of confidence."
It didn't help Maryland's chances that they were without guards Laurin Mincy and Brene Moseley, who both suffered ACL injuries. The lack of a consistent ball handler led to 26 turnovers, 18 coming in the first half.
But the Terps are a top-10 team for a reason. After trailing by 13, they cut the lead to 7 points in the second half only to watch the Huskies reel off eight a row -- three-pointers by Brianna Banks and Bria Hartley and a layup from Kiah Stokes -- thanks in large part to the contributions of Kelly Faris.
"Faris makes play after play," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "She's so tough and physical. …
"That was a tough sequence. Banks was spectacular. That's what Connecticut does. They give you that knockout punch and you see teams never recover. I love the fact we were able to withstand a lot of those runs and were able to keep competing."
"She is by far our toughest player," center Stefanie Dolson said after the game of Faris. "She does everything on the floor. Even if she doesn't get credit for a steal she most likely tipped the ball to make the play."
And Auriemma added: "I said it 100 times, I'm always amazed that none of the Big East coaches vote her for anything. They are stuck with the guys they have and we have the record we have because of her. Someone can dominate a game and take six shots. Kelly completely dominated the game. She has an impact that goes beyond the stat sheet. When you look at the stat sheet there's a whole bunch of stuff there, her impact is greater than that."
Faris ended the night with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Dolson led the Huskies with 14 points, and freshman Breanna Stewart added 13.
UConn faces Penn St. Thursday night at Gampel.