Back at No. 1, Huskies rout Houston 85-26
Feb. 18, 2015
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — UConn coach Geno Auriemma equates fouls with turnovers and free throws as free points for his team's opponents.
The Huskies committed just eight fouls Tuesday and held a second consecutive opponent without a free-throw attempt in an 85-26 rout of Houston.
"That's why it's called a foul, because it's not allowed," Auriemma said. "So, you would want to try to play the game where you don't do things that are not allowed."
Breanna Stewart tied her season high with 26 points to lead the Huskies, hitting 11 of her 16 shots. She also had five rebounds and four assists in just 26 minutes for the Huskies (25-1, 14-0 American Athletic Conference), who were playing their first game since returning to the top of the AP poll.
Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck each added 12 points and UConn pushed its winning streak to 24 games.
Kiah Stokes had 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the Huskies, giving her 118 blocks for the season. She needs 13 more to tie Rebecca Lobo's single-season school record.
Mariah Mitchell scored nine points for Houston (6-20, 1-13), which lost its 12th consecutive game and sits at the bottom of the conference.
"I think they were a little nervous and didn't step up like we expected them to," first-year Houston coach Ronald Hughey said. "I thought they fought in spurts, but I wanted them to bring that fight for the whole game."
It was the Huskies' 72nd consecutive win against an unranked opponent, and their 249th in their past 250 games against teams outside of the Top 25.
UConn never trailed and opened the game on a 14-2 run.
The Huskies built their lead by going underneath, outscoring Houston 30-2 in the paint in the first half and 62-8 for the game.
UConn's defense held Houston without a point for a six-minute span during a 14-0 run that made it 34-8.
"We're at a point in the season where we need to just make sure that everything is fine-tuned, and playing defense like that is definitely going to help us in March," Stewart said.
The highlight of the game for Houston came when Bianca Winslow's jump shot from the right baseline was deflected by UConn's Gabby Williams and went into the basket. That made it 34-12. UConn led 39-12 at the half.
The Huskies did not shoot well from the outside, going 3 for 17 from 3-point range. But Houston hit just 2 of 18 from behind the arc and shot just 20 percent from the floor for the game.
UConn outrebounded Houston 46-26. The Cougars rank last in the AAC in rebounding.
Houston's only win since Dec. 20 was a double-overtime victory over Cincinnati at home on Jan. 7.
UConn: The Huskies improved to 335-15 when playing as the No. 1 team in the nation. They are just 2-1 as the top team this season, after losing their second game of the season at Stanford.
Houston: The 26 points were the fewest for Houston in a game this season, 14 points below their previous low and 30 below their season average.
A LITTLE HISTORY: The win gives UConn at least 25 victories for the 22nd consecutive season. The Huskies went 18-11 in 1992-93, when gasoline sold for $1.15 a gallon and tuition at UConn was $3,038 for in-state students.
Houston: The Cougars head home from a two-game road trip to face SMU on Saturday at the Hofheinz Pavilion.
UConn: The Huskies head out on the road for games at Tulsa on Saturday and at Tulane next Monday.