Season Finale at the X-L Center Goes to the Huskies
By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Breanna Stewart scored 23 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked seven shots to lead top-ranked Connecticut to its 33nd straight win, an 83-35 rout of Central Florida on Wednesday night.
Freshman Saniya Chong added a season-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies (27-0, 14-0 American Athletic Conference), who jumped out to a 26-point lead in the first half and extended it in the second.
Bria Hartley had 20 points and four rebounds, becoming the third player in school history to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in her career.
Zykira Lewis had 11 points to lead Central Florida (10-16, 3-12), which has lost 12 of its last 14 games.
The Huskies held Central Florida to 12 field goals on 70 shots and outscored the Knights 44-6 in the paint.
The game started with Central Florida’s Sara Djassi grabbing the tip and heading toward the wrong basket. It didn’t get much better for the Knights.
Stewart scored her 1,000th career point on the Huskies’ first basket, a short jump shot after grabbing an offensive rebound. She reached the milestone in just her 63rd game at Connecticut. Only Maya Moore did it faster, needing just 55 games.
Her bucket started an 11-0 run that put the Huskies up 11-2. Hartley grabbed three rebounds during that stretch, giving her 500. The senior joins Moore and Diana Taurasi as the only players in program history with the 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists.
UConn used a 13-3 run later in the half to stretch the lead to 30-12, and it was 46-20 at halftime.
The Huskies opened the second half on a 22-2 run to make it 68-22. UCF hit just one of 22 shots during that 12-minute stretch.
UConn has been beating its opponents by an average of 36 points this season.
The Huskies had 11 blocked shots, two over their season average. Stefanie Dolson, Stewart and Kiah Stokes all rank among the top 30 shot-blockers in the nation.
This was the final game of the season for the Huskies in Hartford. They have one more game at home on March 1 on campus, and in between head to Texas for games against Houston and SMU.
The winning streak, which dates back to last year’s run to the program’s eighth national title, is now tied for the fourth-longest in school history. The Huskies have the two longest streaks in NCAA history, a 90 game streak than ended in 2010, and a 70-game streak that ended in 2003.
UConn is playing with just seven scholarship players since losing forward Morgan Tuck last month to knee surgery and All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewiss for up to six weeks with mononucleosis.
The Knights have been playing for the last month without their star, Briahanna Jackson. The sophomore scored 28 points in the first meeting with the Huskies, a 28-point loss on New Year’s Day. She left the team 10 days later for personal reasons.
UCF fell to 0-13 against ranked teams under Joi Williams.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)