This is an amazing statistic from ESPN Stats & Info, tweeted out Monday afternoon.
"The UConn women are winning and winning big. Average margin of victory this season is 37.3 points per game, which would break the Division 1 record for single season."
It's become a recurring theme this season for Geno Auriemma's Huskies: Not just winning but winning big. It happened again Monday night, this time against No. 3 Louisville. And while UConn cruised to a 68-48 victory, the margin was only 20 points.
Still, the point remains: the Huskies are now 31-0, American Athletic Conference regular season champs, and continue to play well every time they take the court. That consistency, particularly given that Morgan Tuck was lost for the season in January and that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis missed 11 games with an elbow injury and mono, is a testament to just how good this group is.
On Monday night in Louisville, sophomore forward Breanna Stewart led the way with 22 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
“We knew coming here with it being their Senior Night and 20,000 people in the building that it was going to be a crazy environment,” Stewart said afterwards, via SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “To be able to come into a physical game and come out with a W meant a lot.”
Stewart shot 9 of 21 from the floor but missed seven of her first eight shots before getting hot.
“Just showing that I stuck with it … I could have become really frustrated starting that slowly and not getting or making the kind of quality shots I want,” she said. “But being able to stay with the game and knowing the ball was eventually going to go in was big for me.”
We know UConn has dominated just about everyone they've played this season but how good has Stewart been? Adamec writes that in 10 games against ranked opponents, Stewart has averaged 20.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
“I thought the first 6-7-8 minutes tonight that Stewie was in the witness protection program,” Auriemma said. “They put a little box on the left side of the floor and Stewie just stood there. So when she came over to the bench … The thing that makes Stewie the best player in the country, I think, is that when she’s moving she is impossible to guard. No big kid can move like her. And when she’s moving she’ll end up in the lane, middle, outside, and no guard can guard her. But when she’s in one spot, she’s easy to guard. Once we got her moving, Stewie did what she does."
The scary part is that Stewart still has two years of eligibility after this season. And Auriemma concedes that what we're seeing now wouldn't have happened a year ago, when Stewart was still getting her bearings in the college game. “She couldn’t have done this last year," he said. "She couldn’t have handled the physicality of the game. She’s grown up a lot and matured an awful lot. She does things on the basketball court that very few kids I’ve seen do.”