NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 07: Breanna Stewart #30 of the Connecticut Huskies reacts to a three point shot against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Semifinal game of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at the New Orleans Arena on April 7, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Another game, another easy victory for the top-ranked Huskies, this time a 67-34 win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Gampel Pavilion. Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Bria Hartley led UConn scorers with 12 points each, while the Bearcats' Jeanise Randolph added 15 points.
The win, UConn's first as a member of the American Athletic Conference, moves them to 13-0 on the season.
The Huskies jumped out to a 16-0 lead and led by 33-20 at the break after Cincy went on a 20-17 run. It was 35-24 early in the second half before UConn went on one of their patented runs to extend the lead to 51-27. Still, coach Geno Auriemma wasn't excited about how the first 20 minutes played out following the early lead.
"There was no flow to the offense," he said. "It’s funny because we spend probably as much time as anybody does to make sure we have that kind of movement and flow. I think when we were up 16 to start the game, and then part of it was earlier this week we had a couple really good practices and that second group really had a couple great days of practice. I thought I would try a New Year’s Resolution of mine and play all those guys a lot more minutes, and obviously that won’t happen again. That kind of got us away from what we were doing and we got stuck and we stayed stuck for the rest of the first half."
The 67 points were 19 points fewer than UConn's season average, which is a credit to the Bearcats defense.
“We just played our normal defense," Cincy coach Jamelle Elliott told reporters after the game. "Did they look like they were bothered offensively? I’ll make sure I tell my players that. We’re a pretty good defensive team. We’re a much better defensive team at this point in the year than we are offensively. Our goal was to make it as much of a half court game as possible. To really stop them in transition, our goal was to make them make at least four or five passes before they shoot. That was our goal -- stop them in transition and have them make at least four or five passes before they got a shot at the basket.
"They scored 67 points. I’ve got to believe that that is a lot more under their average than they’ve done all year. They still beat us by 30, they are the No. 1 team in the country, but there are some small individual goals that we accomplished that will help our guys moving forward from this 30-point loss.”
Next up: The Huskies face UCF in Orlando, Florida on New Year's Day.