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No. 3 UConn 63, Massachusetts 44

December 12, 1997

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) _ All-America guard Nykesha Sales scored 16 points to lead Connecticut past Massachusetts 63-44 Thursday.

UConn forced 14 turnovers and stole the ball 12 times to hold UMass to 39 percent shooting in the second half.

UConn got off to a slow start, failing to score until 14:21 when guard Rita Williams hit a foul shot.

Meanwhile, UMass shot 50 percent in the first 20 minutes and went on an 8-0 run to build the lead to 17-8 with 7:46 remaining in the first period.

The Huskies answered with an 11-0 run to tie it at 18 with 3:07 left, but UMass, playing without its leading scorer, Kelly Van Huisen, who is out for the year with a knee injury, came back to tie it at 20 with 2:19 remaining.

Svetlana Abosimova then scored five points in the last 1:44 to give UConn a five-point halftime lead.

The Huskies went on a 14-0 run to start the second half, opening up a comfortable 54-33 lead with 9:13 remaining in the game.

Abrosimova had 12 points and five steals off the bench. Yolanda Rayside was the high scorer for UMass with 10 points.

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