Tiffany Hayes had been on a roll as of late for the UConn Huskies women's basketball team. Stefanie Dolson hadn't been playing so bad lately herself.
But with Hayes missing a part of the game with a head injury and Dolson spending a quality amount of time on the bench in foul trouble, Geno Auriemma needed others to step up to help out.
He got exactly that as his Huskies played another dominant defensive game in a 61-45 win over the Duke Blue Devils in front of 8.033 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC and nationally televised audience on ESPN2 Monday night.
The No. 3 Huskies improve to 20-2 while the No. 5 Blue Devils fall to 17-3. It's the fourth straight win for UConn over Duke and it also ended their 34-game winning streak. Ironically enough, the last time Duke lost at home was to the Huskies two years ago.
Bria Hartley led the Huskies with 15 points and seven assists while pulling down five rebounds. Caroline Doty chipped in with 11 points while Dolson had 10 points in just 13 minutes of action. Kiah Stokes continues to impress as of late and it was her play in the post that helped UConn to the win. She finished with just four points but had 12 rebounds and tied her career-high with five blocked shots.
Despite shooting 5-of-17 from the floor, Chelsea Gray paced the Blue Devils with 13 points, six assists, six steals and had seven rebounds. Richa Jackson added 11 points and nine rebounds while Elizabeth Williams had 10 points. Haley Peters had also had nine rebounds to go along with nine points.
This one was close early on before UConn opened up a five point lead at 13-8 with 5-0 run. Two free throws by Hartley pushed UConn's lead to seven at 17-10. A few minutes later, a Gray three cut the Huskies lead to four at 19-15 with 8:44 to go.
But the Huskies would quickly push the lead to ten points with a 6-0 before a Peters jumper ended that. UConn followed that up though with another 6-0 run to increase their lead to 14 at 31-17. UConn would go cold though for the rest of the half as the Blue Devils ended the half with a 6-0 run to trail 31-23 at the half.
Duke would get the lead down to five early on in the second half before Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis would hit a three that was part of a 8-0 run that gave UConn control of the game. After cutting UConn's lead to 11 on two Williams free throws with 11:54 to go in the game, Kelly Faris nailed a three and from there, Duke would get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
It's been great to see Stokes continue to get better with each game she played. What she was lacking offensively, she made up for on the defensive end. She gave fellow freshman Williams a hard time under the basket, making it difficult for her to score. And this was definitely needed with Dolson in foul trouble.
The Huskies will have another tough game on their hands on Saturday night when the Rutgers Scarlet Knights come to Gampel Pavilion. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast locally in Connecticut on CPTV.
To continue reading the UConn Huskies @ Duke Blue Devils recap, click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
Notes and musings:
The starters for the Huskies were Bria Hartley, Caroline Doty, Tiffany Hayes, Kelly Faris and Stefanie Dolson.
UConn shot 45.1% (23-51) from the floor. They held Duke to their lowest field goal percentage of the year at 24.6% (17-69).
The Huskies had 17 assists on their 23 made baskets.
UConn was 7-of-18 (38.9%) beyond the arc. The Blue Devils were 5-of-15 (33.3%).
The Huskies were 8-of-11 (72.7%) from the free throw line.
UConn won the battle of the boards 44-38. Duke did have 15 offensive rebounds to just seven for the Huskies.
The Huskies outscored the Blue Devils 24-14 in the paint and 9-4 on the fast break.
Even with their 15 offensive rebounds, the Blue Devils only had two second chance points. UConn had three.
The Huskies had 13 points off of 15 Duke turnovers. The Blue Devils had 12 points off of 21 UConn turnovers.
Photo credit: Cloe Poisson - Hartford Courant (No. 13 in gallery)
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