Tuck leads No. 2 UConn women to 92-58 rout of Temple
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — No. 2 UConn prevented Temple from scoring a basket in the lane in the first half Wednesday while making layup after layup on the other end of the floor.
The result was a 92-58 rout by the Huskies in which the defending national champions outscore Temple 56-8 in the paint.
Connecticut’s post players led the way. Morgan Tuck scored 24 points and Breanna Stewart had 18 for the Huskies (15-1, 5-0 American). Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“They know if they are working really hard and they are aggressive and they want the ball, they are going to get it and they are going to get it every time,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “We’re not going to not throw it to them just because we haven’t shot the ball from the 3-point line yet.”
UConn has won 60 of its last 61 games and has not lost a conference game since the inception of the American Athletic Conference last season. UConn is 23-0 in regular-season conference games, and won the inaugural conference tournament.
“I think these games can be used as confidence builders,” said Tuck. “If we’re doing it right in these games, it might not be as close a game, but I still think it’s helpful.”
Feyonda Fitzgerald scored 16 points and Alliya Butts had 14 for Temple (7-11, 3-2), which has dropped three straight games after winning four of its previous five.
UConn outscored Temple 36-0 in the paint before the Owls Erica Covile made a layup more than two minutes into the second half. The Huskies had built a 34-point lead by that time.
Tuck hit her first eight shots and had 20 points in the first half.
UConn scored the game’s first 13 points, capped by a 3-pointer from Mosqueda-Lewis that moved her past Tiffany Hayes and into 11th place on the school’s scoring list.
The Huskies’ 22-2 opening run was interrupted only by a jump shot from Covile almost four minutes into the game. The Owls missed eight of their first nine shots from the floor.
Butts tried to keep her team in it, hitting three of her first four shots, including two from beyond the 3-point line.
“We were forced to shoot a lot of 3′s because those are the only shots we thought we were going to get that were open,” said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza.
The UConn lead was 35-14 midway through the half and 55-25 at intermission.
Another 3-pointer from Mosqueda-Lewis made it 84-44, 12 minutes into the second half.
UConn shot 52 percent from the floor and held Temple to just 28 percent.
Kia Nurse scored 13 points for UConn and fellow freshman Gabby Williams contributed with five points and 10 rebounds.
The Huskies have won 14 straight since losing at Stanford in their second game of the season and have won 60 of their last 61 games.
The Owls have not beaten a ranked team since topping Xavier in February 2009.
This was just UConn’s second game this season on campus and first since Nov. 23. The Huskies had played 12 games in eight different buildings since then, including in front of Connecticut fans in Bridgeport, Uncasville and three times in Hartford. The win improves UConn’s record at Gampel to 299-19.
Temple: Cardoza, who was an assistant coach under Geno Auriemma at UConn for 14 seasons, falls to 0-4 against her mentor.
UConn: Has won its last 64 games against unranked opponents, dating to a 57-56 loss against St. John’s on Feb. 18, 2012. Since the 1993-94 season, the Huskies are 520-9 record against unranked foes, and has won 241 of its last 242 such games.
Temple: The Owls return home to face UCF on Saturday
UConn: The Huskies continue their home stand on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game against USF.