A look back at Sunday’s UConn-LSU game:
No. 1 UConn 81, LSU 51
TURNING POINT – Leading 46-36 at halftime, the Huskies opened the second half with a 12-2 run to open a 20-point lead with 15:43 left in the game. Tiffany Hayes opened the half with a 3-pointer. She later scored in transition and assisted on a three-point play by Stefanie Dolson that capped the run. LSU went scoreless for 6:09. UConn coach Geno Auriemma said afterward that he did not think the Lady Tigers overcame that stretch. He was right.
UNSUNG HERO – Samarie Walker. She finished with five points and a season-high nine rebounds (four offensive) in 19 minutes. She continues to do the dirty work in the lane for the Huskies, establishing herself as a reliable cog in the rotation. She is averaging 7.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in 21.7 minutes through the first six games.
BEST ‘X’ AND/OR ‘O’ – The Huskies were having difficulty defending the Lady Tigers in the first half, especially LaShonda Barrett (12 pts), Adrienne Webb (9) and Destini Hughes (8). Some adjustments were made in the locker room and UConn held LSU to 15 points in the second half on 24 percent shooting from the field. Webb (1-of-4 FG) had two points in the half. Barrett (0-of-5) and Hughes (0-of-1) were scoreless.
“Geno must have gone in at halftime and jumped after them pretty good,’’ LSU coach Van Chancellor said. “We scored 36 points in the first half, and their defense in the second half was really good. We just couldn’t get into our offense. They did a great job of taking us out of it. They just switched every screen, and we didn’t adjust. The second half got really, really physical. They just denied the ball and got every rebound.”
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS – Maya Moore finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds. She became the third player in team history to tally 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Tina Charles (2,346/1,367) Rebecca Lobo (2,133/1,268) are the others. Moore, who is averaging 26.0 points this season, needs 23 to break Charles’ team scoring record. Chancellor compared her to Cynthia Cooper and Diana Taurasi. “She reminds me of Cynthia Cooper and the attitude of her toughness and just the ability to play every night,’’ he said. “Cooper would play every night. And then her skill level reminds me a lot of Taurasi. When I was with the (Houston) Comets, Taurasi got 47 on me at home one night and the only reason she didn’t get 67 was she got two of the worst calls known to mankind. They called two offensive fouls on her that she fouled out. We couldn’t do anything to stop her. This kid reminds me of that. There’s no defense on this kid. She’s the best player out there right now.’’ … Four players scored in double figures for the Huskies for the second straight game. “Those are the best wins,’’ Moore said. “You feel more satisfied when people who have the ability to score do it. We share the ball. We have a lot of assists. You generally know when you have a good feeling after a game it’s because a lot of people have been involved. We need that and we know that we can be that team. So now that we’ve shown that we have to maintain it.’’ … Auriemma improved to 56-21 all-time against seven coaches currently in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (Leon Barmore, Chancellor, Jody Conradt, Sue Gunter, C. Vivian Stringer, Pat Summitt and Kay Yow). … Huskies’ trainer Rosemary Ragle was the only person at Gampel Pavilion Sunday with national championship rings from both UConn and LSU. She was the athletic trainer for the champion LSU women’s outdoor track team in 1997. … Bria Hartley was named the Big East Freshman of the Week for the second straight week Monday. She averaged 14.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in wins over Howard, Lehigh and LSU at the World Vision Challenge. Hartley also shot 52.9 percent from 3-point range (9-of-17).
LOOKING AHEAD – The Huskies will face South Florida in Tampa, Fla. Thursday in their Big East opener at the Sun Dome (7 p.m.; CPTV). It will be the earliest UConn has opened conference play since meeting Boston College in the Reebok Classic Nov. 24, 1996.
BY THE NUMBERS
122 – Career games played by Maya Moore
1,009 – Career rebounds for Moore
2,324 – Career points for Moore