Score: No. 2 UConn 94, No. 7 DePaul 67
Stars: UConn: Breanna Stewart 21 Pts, 6 Reb. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl.
Story: The old saying rings true again. You do not want to be the first team that UConn plays after a loss.
Six days after falling in triple overtime at Notre Dame, UConn opened its quest for the Big East championship with a 94-67 win over No. 7 DePaul.
It was close for maybe a minute on Sunday night in Hartford. DePaul cut UConn’s early lead to three, but then the Huskies went on an 8-0 run in the span of 47 seconds, and it was never close again.
“We played a really good basketball game,” Coach Geno Auriemma said. “It was well played by a lot of our players, individually and as a team, and, you know, coming off of a pretty emotional game last Monday, we had an opportunity to come out and play a team that, I think, is one of the harder teams to defend in our league.”
One of the many bright spots for the Huskies was freshman forward Breanna Stewart. The top-ranked player in the Class of 2012 scored 21 points for the Huskies, establishing herself as a dominant presence both inside and on the perimeter.
“I thought she did a really good job of, I think, not second guessing herself, you know, making decisions quickly, being extremely aggressive cutting to the basket and just doing a really good job of not standing still and making sure she’s always moving and always being aggressive,” junior center Stefanie Dolson said of Stewart’s performance.
Playing in front of a home crowd and given their level of talent compared to other teams, UConn is always expected to ease through games. But the Huskies know that even when they’re not playing Baylor or Notre Dame, they have to be at their best.
“This is the time when upsets happen, when teams play better than they have all season,” sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said, ”so we wanted to make sure we came out in the first half aggressive and played Connecticut basketball.”
UConn will play either Villanova or Syracuse on Monday night at 8 p.m.