Sometimes games against a lesser opponent is what's needed for a team, especially one trying to find its identity after having Maya Moore for four years. It also allows UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma to play different lineups to see what he's got in case it's ever needed.
That's exactly what Auriemma was able to do on Tuesday night against the Pacific Tigers.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led six Huskies in double figures with 25 points in their 112-53 win over the Tigers in front of 6,067 at Gampel Pavilion on campus in Storrs, CT.
Ironically enough, Pacific was the last team UConn beat during their record 90 game winning streak that ended at Stanford last year. The Cardinal just happen to be UConn's next opponent.
KML rebounded from a poor shooting performance in her debut as she got her 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting including 5-of-6 from three point land. She also led the Huskies with seven rebounds. Bria Hartley had 18 points while freshman Brianna Banks added 12.
Caroline Doty, Tiffany Hayes and Kelly Faris all had 11 points with Doty adding a team-high six assists. Faris led the Huskies with six steals on the night.
Erica McKenzie led the Tigers with 16 points and also led them with five assists while Kendall Rodriguez chipped in with 12 points. Christina Thompson led Pacific with seven rebounds while adding five points.
Believe it or not, this game was close early on as UConn wasn't on top of their game.
A Thompson layup cut UConn's lead to three points at 9-6. With the score 11-7, the Huskies scored 10 straight points that was part of a 30-2 run that put the game away.
It was more of the same in the second half as they would build their lead up over 50 points. They hit the century mark on a KML jumper with 6:18 to go in the game.
As I said above, it was nice to see Auriemma be able to use different lineups. There's going to be a time during the season where he'll need to play smaller lineups and playing against a smaller Pacific team allowed him to do just that.
Nice to see KML bust out of her shooting slump from the first game. You can tell she's going to be a special player like Moore was. Heck, she was even referred to as Moore in the initial UConn box score.
Also nice to see Banks show us what's she got. She's another lefty like Hayes and she might even be faster than Hayes. Pacific didn't do a good job on defense as they allowed her to go to her dominant hand one too many times.
The Huskies now have six days to prepare for Stanford who comes to the XL Center on Monday night. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
To continue reading the Pacific Tigers @ UConn Huskies recap, click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
Notes and musings:
The Huskies now have an 85 game home winning streak. Their last loss at home came in 2007 during the Big East Championship Game when they fell to Rutgers.
They've also won 118 of their last 120 home games at the XL Center and Gampel Pavilion.
UConn's 68 points tied their record set back on January 6, 1998 when they beat Providence 126-48.
UConn is the only ranked team that is on Pacific's schedule. That is of course subject to change as the season goes on.
The starters for UConn were Bria Hartley, Caroline Doty, Tiffany Hayes, Kelly Faris and Stefanie Dolson.
The Huskies shot an astounding 70.7% (41-58) from the floor while Pacific shot 34% (18-53).
UConn had 27 assists on their 41 made baskets.
The Huskies were 10-of-18 (55.6%) from beyond the arc.
Both teams were outstanding from the charity stripe as they both shot 90.9%. UConn was 20-of-22 while Pacific was 10-of-11.
The Huskies dominated the glass outrebounding the Tigers 34-19.
UConn had 41 points off of 26 Pacific turnovers. The Tigers had 13 points off of 15 Huskies turnovers.
The Huskies had 17 steals as a team led by Faris' six steals.
UConn had six second chance points to four for Pacific. I guess it's hard for the Huskies to have second chances when almost everything is falling into the basket.
Photo credit: AP Photo
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