UConn Women Dominate East Carolina 84-41 - NBC Connecticut
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UConn Women Dominate East Carolina 84-41

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    UConn Women Dominate East Carolina 84-41
    AP

    Breanna Stewart and No. 1 Connecticut had a rather easy time during their final trip of the regular season.

    They picked up a share of another conference title, and if all goes according to plan, the Huskies won't leave their home state again until they head back to the Final Four.

    Stewart had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and UConn clinched a share of its third straight American Athletic Conference crown by routing East Carolina 84-41 on Saturday night.

    Stewart finished two blocked shots shy of her first triple-double, but those eight pushed her past Kara Wolters for second on the school's career blocks list.

    "Every night is a possibility that a triple-double's going to happen," coach Geno Auriemma said. "That's kind of why our record is what it is."

    Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson added 19 points in what Auriemma called "probably the best game she's played here" while Natalie Butler finished with 11 points for the Huskies (26-0, 15-0) in their 63rd straight victory.

    UConn shot 47 percent, held East Carolina to 24 percent shooting, forced 22 turnovers and scored 20 straight points in the first quarter.

    I'Tiana Taylor had 12 points for the short-handed Pirates (10-17, 4-11). They have lost seven of eight.

    "We dressed seven kids," East Carolina coach Heather Macy said, "and they just kept fighting and fighting."

    The Huskies were the first No. 1-ranked team to visit East Carolina in 32 years. Now they can probably get comfortable in their home state for a while.

    They have three home regular-season games left before the conference tournament in Uncasville, and they're a lock to both host an NCAA Tournament subregional in Storrs and play the regional round in Bridgeport.

    They hope they won't have to leave the state again until they head to Indianapolis for their ninth straight Final Four.

    "It will be really good to just settle in and be in the same place for a couple weeks, anyway," Auriemma said. "Learning how to travel and learning how to be a good road team ... those are big factors in why players are good and why teams are good."

    This one was all Huskies from the start: Samuelson scored 15 points during a first quarter in which the Huskies all but put the game away while going up 27-4. After one quarter, Stewart had blocked more shots (four) than the Pirates made (three).