It was hardly the efficient, well-played tune-up the UConn women’s basketball team was looking for heading into a showdown with No. 1 Baylor. But a win is still a win, and the third-ranked Huskies will take it on the road.
Freshman Morgan Tuck had 15 points and five rebounds today to lead UConn to a 65-45 victory over Rutgers before 5,378 at the Rutgers Athletic Center. The Huskies shot just 40.8 percent from the field.
Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, who is 899-328 in 42 seasons, failed in her second attempt to become the fourth women’s basketball coach in Division I history to reach 900 wins. Pat Summitt (1,098), Sylvia Hatchell (902) and Jody Conradt (900) have reached the milestone.
The Huskies (24-1 overall, 11-1 Big East) have won 10 straight games against Rutgers (14-10, 5-6). They will host Baylor Monday at the XL Center in their Play4Kay game to promote breast cancer awareness.
Stefanie Dolson added 14 points and four rebounds for UConn. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 12 points and four rebounds, while Moriah Jefferson had 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Auriemma benched starters Caroline Doty, Kelly Faris, Bria Hartley and Mosqueda-Lewis with 15:34 left in the half. The Huskies were trailing 8-4 and were 2-of-6 from the field.
Doty returned with 12:25 left in the half. Faris then returned with 8:43 left and Mosqueda-Lewis was back with 5:29 left. Hartley never did return to the game.
UConn trailed by as many as 10 (14-4) in the half and 18-12 with 9:03 left. But the Huskies finally found some rhythm in scoring 10 straight points as part of a 14-3 run.
The Huskies led 33-27 at halftime. They scored the first seven points of the second half, including four by Dolson, to finally create some space on the scoreboard.
UConn led by as many as 21 in the second half.
Shakena Richardson led the Scarlet Knights with 10 points.