By SCHUYLER DIXON AP Sports Writer
DALLAS (AP) _ Bria Hartley scored 25 points, Breanna Stewart added 23 and No. 1 Connecticut broke open a close game late in the first half on the way to an 81-48 victory against SMU on Tuesday night.
The Huskies (29-0, 16-0 American Athletic) won their 35th straight game, halfway to the second-longest winning streak in school history. The current run is tied for the third longest streak ever at UConn.
UConn’s lead was just 22-17 when the Huskies scored the last 15 points of the first half, a span that covered 4 minutes. Stewart started the decisive run with a 15-foot baseline jumper and had back-to-back layups in transition for a 30-17 lead.
Keena Mays scored 13 points to lead the Mustangs (16-11, 7-9).
Stewart also had five rebounds, five assists and four blocks, while Kiah Stokes had a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Huskies, who beat SMU by 61 at home earlier this month, won both games on a Texas swing by an average of 42 points, slightly higher than their average margin this season. They beat Houston 92-41 on Saturday.
UConn actually had its closest game of the season in Texas last month, beating No. 6 Baylor by 11 in Waco and snapping the Lady Bears’ nation-leading 69-game home winning streak.
The Huskies’ first visit to Moody Coliseum drew the largest crowd for a women’s game in arena history at 4,091, and those fans were at their loudest when Mays hit a 3-pointer for get the Mustangs within 20-15.
SMU had several chances to get the deficit back to five late in the first half but missed seven shots in just three possessions. The Mustangs shot 25 percent for the game, slightly better than the season-low 20 percent from their loss at UConn.
UConn got the lead to 20 at halftime on a 3-pointer by Moriah Jefferson and two free throws from Hartley in the final minute.
Mays ended SMU’s scoring drought with a layup to open the second half. She had a chance for a three-point play but missed the free throw.
Stewart and Hartley answered with consecutive buckets and Hartley later hit back-to-back 3-pointers for a 55-26 lead. Hartley, who also had seven rebounds, was 5 of 8 from long range.
The Huskies took their first 30-point lead on a layup by Stokes with 11:56 to go and led by as many as 35.
UConn’s Stefanie Dolson had nine points and nine rebounds.
Akil Simpson was SMU’s other double-digit scorer with 11.
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