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UConn women overwhelm College of Charleston

Updated 11:22 pm, Sunday, November 11, 2012

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UConn freshman Breanna Stewart (3) drives past Charleston's Alyssa Frye during the  first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Sunday,  Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)
 

    UConn freshman Breanna Stewart (3) drives past Charleston's Alyssa Frye during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)

     

 

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STORRS -- The schedule will get more difficult as UConn women's season progresses. There is no denying, though, that the Huskies have a chance to be a special group.

With a smooth blend of returning players and three talented freshmen, No. 2 UConn is going to create match-up problems at virtually every position. The College of Charleston was completely overwhelmed in the Huskies' season opener Sunday.

Freshman Breanna Stewart finished with a game-high 21 points to lead six players in double figures in a 103-39 victory before 6,221 at Gampel Pavilion. UConn shot 63.6 percent from the field, scoring 29 points in transition and 40 points off 25 turnovers by the Cougars.

"Definitely (we can be a scary team)," UConn sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "I feel like this year if we're going to have a downfall, it's going to be because of us. It isn't going to be because of any other team.''

UConn, which led by 40 with 4:02 left in the first half, generated this type of offensive performance despite not operating at full strength. Junior All-American Bria Hartley did not play due to a sprained left ankle. It is expected that she will also miss UConn's game at No. 15 Texas A&M Nov. 18.

The Huskies have won 17 straight season openers, including the last four by an average of 63.5 points. They have also won 21 straight home openers and have not lost back-to-back games in 693 games.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma was recognized during a pregame ceremony for reaching 800 wins last season. He is 805-129 (.862) in his 28th season with the Huskies.

"I thought for the majority of the game I thought we got a lot done in a very efficient manner,'' Auriemma said.

Mosqueda-Lewis added 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals for the Huskies.

Freshman Morgan Tuck had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Stefanie Dolson had 11 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists.

Caroline Doty and Brianna Banks each finished with 10 points.

The third freshman, point guard Moriah Jefferson, contributed four points and five assists.

"It's endless, really,'' Dolson said referring to UConn's options offensively. "I think we have so many versatile players that go out in 3 or post up inside. Just so many players that can really spread the defense out so we can get cuts and just run our offense really easily.''

Alyssa Frye led the College of Charleston with 14 points. The Cougars shot 25.4 percent from the field.

Latisha Harris scored the first basket of the game for the Cougars (1-1). The Huskies' onslaught began seconds later as they scored the next 19 points.

Mosqueda-Lewis scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers in a span of 87 seconds to ignite a masterful stretch by UConn.

The Huskies opened 7-of-10 from the field and forced six turnovers in the first 4:11.

"We, obviously, want to punch them first,'' Stewart said. "And that's what we try to do, especially with the press. That helps a lot because it gets us going in transition and then from there we're off.''

Following another hoop by Harris, UConn responded with 22 straight points during a 36-6 run to end the half. The lead was 57-13 at halftime.

The Huskies shot 62.9 percent from the field, scoring 23 fast-break points and 23 off of 16 turnovers.

UConn ripped off another 19-0 run in the second half to open a 91-24 lead with 9:50 remaining.

"I'm very pleased,'' Dolson said. ``We played awesome in the beginning. We had great pressure on the ball, great intensity, our effort was there. So I'm definitely pleased with the overall effort.''

relliott@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/elliottctpost; http://blog.ctnews.com/elliott/

No. 2 UCONN 103, COLL. OF CHARLESTON 39

FG FT Reb

CHARLESTON Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Hardy 28 0-2 0-0 2-2 1 4 0

Harris 24 4-11 5-6 1-3 0 4 13

Frye 35 5-13 0-0 2-3 3 1 14

Brown 37 0-5 0-0 0-3 5 0 0

Fischer 12 0-5 0-0 0-1 0 1 0

Hewatt 13 1-5 0-2 2-3 0 1 2

McKenzie 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Tolbert 35 5-16 0-2 2-5 1 3 10

Green 13 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Totals 200 15-59 5-10 15-28 10 14 39

Percentages: FG .254, FT .500.

3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (Frye 4-8, Hewatt 0-2, Fischer 0-2, Tolbert 0-2).

Team Rebounds: 7.

Blocked Shots: 0.

Turnovers: 25 (Tolbert 7, Brown 6, Green 3, Hardy 3, Fischer 2, Frye 2, Hewatt).

Steals: 4 (Hardy 3, Harris).

Technical Fouls: None.

FG FT Reb

UCONN Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Mosqueda-Lewis 31 7-15 0-0 2-8 4 1 19

Stewart 23 8-11 5-5 1-5 1 1 21

Dolson 26 4-6 3-6 2-9 8 0 11

Doty 16 4-6 0-0 0-1 1 0 10

Faris 24 4-4 0-0 1-1 4 1 9

Tuck 22 7-11 0-0 1-6 4 1 15

Jefferson 23 1-5 2-2 1-4 5 2 4

Banks 17 5-5 0-0 0-3 2 2 10

Buck 9 1-1 0-0 1-3 1 2 2

Stokes 9 1-2 0-0 2-2 2 3 2

Totals 200 42-66 10-13 13-44 32 13 103

Percentages: FG .636, FT .769.

3-Point Goals: 9-19, .474 (Mosqueda-Lewis 5-10, Doty 2-4, Faris 1-1, Tuck 1-2, Jefferson 0-1, Stewart 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 2.

Blocked Shots: 9 (Dolson 2, Stokes 2, Tuck 2, Stewart, Doty, Banks).

Turnovers: 14 (Jefferson 5, Buck 2, Dolson, Tuck, Stokes, Stewart, Faris, Doty, Banks).

Steals: 14 (Mosqueda-Lewis 5, Stewart 4, Tuck 2, Dolson, Jefferson, Faris).

Technical Fouls: None.

Coll. of Charleston 13 26--39

UConn 5746--103

A--6,221.

Officials--Joanne Aldritch, Tom Danaher, Diana DePaul.