No. 3 UConn roll past Louisville
Updated 1:42 am, Wednesday, January 16, 2013
HARTFORD -- Some things never seem to change when it comes to the UConn and Louisville women's basketball teams. The games are going to be physical. The games are going to lack extended offensive consistency.
One other thing that seems to be consistent is the success that the third-ranked Huskies have had against the 15th-ranked Cardinals. And that success continued Tuesday as UConn earned a 72-58 victory before 8,702 at the XL Center.
"They play hard. They play physical,'' UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I think we play hard and I think we play physical. And that's exactly how they play. We couldn't buy a lot of buckets in the first half, but our defense was as good as it's been all year.''
The Huskies (15-1, 3-1 Big East) have won 12 straight games against the Atlantic Coast Conference-bound Cardinals (14-4, 2-2).
Stefanie Dolson had 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists to lead UConn. She needs eight points to become the 36th player in program history to reach 1,000.
Bria Hartley added 16 points (2-of-10 3-pointers) and seven rebounds for the Huskies, showing no signs of experiencing any pain in her left ankle. Kelly Faris finished with 13 points, four rebounds and seven assists.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 12 points and eight rebounds
The Huskies shot 43.8 percent from the field (9-of-29 3-pointers). They also committed 18 turnovers, including a career-high seven by Faris.
"The leading assist-to-turnover ratio player in America had seven,'' Auriemma said. "You know, it's good to be tough and it's good to be determined. But it's not good to be stubborn and hard-headed. Like if that pass ain't going to work ... It ain't going to work the first time, the second time or the third time.''
The teams combined to shoot 35.8 percent from the field (6-of-28 3-pointers) and commit 25 turnovers in the first half. Louisville shot 31.0 percent (2-of-10) and committed 13 turnovers.
UConn used a 10-2 run to open a 26-14 lead with 7:30 left in the half. The Huskies led 37-23 at halftime, largely due to the contributions of Dolson and Hartley. They each produced 10 points and seven rebounds.
Louisville closed to within 11 with 11:30 left in the game. But Faris answered with a 3-pointer to trigger a 10-2 run.
"She made a couple big ones,'' Auriemma said. "That's the confidence that I think Kelly has. And when you've got Moriah (Jefferson) standing on the other Moriah (Jefferson) standing on the other wing, you'd better have a lot of confidence because if you pass up that shot you don't what the (heck) could happen.''
The Huskies led by as many as 23 down the stretch.
Shoni Schimmel had 14 points (6-of-16 FG) to lead Louisville . The Cardinals shot 34.3 percent from the field (4-of-19 3-pointers) and committed 16 turnovers.
"I was really proud of the way we fought,'' Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "`I thought we came out and really competed. We just couldn't get a six- or eight-point run together. We had some great shots.''
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Game at a glance
STAR OF THE GAME: Stefanie Dolson. She finished with 16 points (8-of-11 FG) and nine rebounds in 28 minutes.
KEYS TO THE WIN: The Huskies used a 10-2 run in the first half to open a 26-14 lead with 7:30 left in the half. They also used a 10-2 run in the second half to open a 60-41 lead with 9:29 left in the game.
WORTH NOTING: Freshman Breanna Stewart missed her second straight game due to a sprained left ankle. ... Dolson has reached double figures in scoring in a career-high seven straight games. ... Kelly Faris moved into ninth place in team history in steals (247) ... There were 28 fouls called in the game, but only 23 free throws attempted (13 by Louisville).
UP NEXT: Saturday vs. Syracuse at XL Center, 4 p.m. (SNY)
-- RICH ELLIOTT