WCBK

No. 3 UConn 79, No. 4 Duke 49

Share This Story

   
 

STORRS, Conn. (AP)

Despite UConn's lofty record, Geno Auriemma admitted something has been missing from his team. The Huskies may have finally found it.

UConn turned a two-point halftime lead into a rout playing a nearly flawless second half.

''The last 20 minutes of the game was as much fun as I've had in a long, long time,'' Auriemma said.

A fiery halftime speech from the Hall of Fame coach seemed to have sparked his team.

''Tonight the frustration came out of me in the locker room,'' Auriemma said. ''Kelly (Faris) turned all that frustration into concentration and aggressiveness that helped us find a little bit of what was missing. ... Now the key is holding on to it and adding to it.''

Kelly Faris was everywhere. She finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in No. 3 UConn's 79-49 victory over the fourth-ranked Blue Devils on Monday night. It was the first loss of the season for Duke.

The senior guard seemed to get her hand on every loose ball and also shut down Duke point guard Chelsea Gray.

''There have been some legends wearing that Connecticut uniform,'' Auriemma said. ''I don't know if anyone represented that uniform, herself, her family the way that kid did tonight. I know there are a lot of players out there that are really good. I know there are a lot of All-Americans who have played here. That was one for the ages right there.''

Auriemma gave Faris a giant hug when he took her out of the game with 1:36 left. Usually that show of emotion is saved for the end of the season.

The Blue Devils were the last unbeaten team in men's or women's Division I basketball. The last time the Blue Devils came up to Connecticut two years ago they were also unbeaten and the Huskies had one loss. UConn won that game 87-51.

For 20 minutes the Blue Devils hung tough with UConn. That quickly changed in the second half. UConn (17-1) held a two-point lead at halftime and jumped right out on Duke in the second half. After trading baskets, the Huskies scored 20 of the next 25 points to take over led by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who finished with 21 points, and Faris.

The Blue Devils (16-1) never could recover.

''Coach was pretty mad at halftime,'' Faris said. ''The most he's been mad in a while. When we came out in the second half, we brought the energy and all fed off each other. That's what makes us a good team when we all feed off each other.''

Duke, which hadn't had a team come within single digits all season, was able to stay with UConn in the first half because of the Huskies' sloppiness with the ball. UConn had 12 turnovers at the break. Associate head coach Chris Dailey implored the crowd at halftime when she was interviewed to yell ''No more turnovers.'' The Huskies listened, finishing the game with only three more.

The Blue Devils also contained Stefanie Dolson in the first half.

Dolson, who was scoreless in the first 20 minutes, had six points during the decisive run before picking up her fourth foul with 16:16 left in the game. That call drew the ire of Auriemma who stopped just short of picking up a technical foul.

It also fired up his team as UConn continued its spurt. After Williams' basket on her own missed free throw, UConn scored the next 13 points. Mosqueda-Lewis had six points during the burst, including a jumper that made it 56-37 with 11:35 left.

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie tried to stop the run calling two timeouts. It was to no avail.

Williams finally ended a 5 1/2 minute drought for Duke with a hook shot with 10:41 left in the game. That only brought Duke within 17.

It didn't get any closer from there.

''It was a tale of two halves for us,'' McCallie said. ''It's consistent for us, how we've been playing all year. We played some great 20-minute ball, but have been non-existent for 40 minutes. Give credit to Connecticut. They played well in the second half. There are some great lessons for us to learn from. It will allow us to become a better team.''

With the victory, UConn kept alive its streak of 20 years without consecutive home losses at Gampel Pavilion. This was the first game played on campus since UConn lost to Notre Dame by a point on Jan. 5.

Jones helped Duke stay in the game in the first half, scoring 12 points. The freshman didn't seem intimidated, hitting 3-pointers and taking it right at the Huskies. UConn led 11-6 early before Jones hit consecutive 3-pointers. Neither team could get more than a four-point lead the rest of the half as the lead changed seven times.

Mosqueda-Lewis' 3-pointer with 54 seconds left gave the Huskies a 31-27 advantage but Williams came right back with a three-point play of her own. UConn led 32-30 at halftime.

UConn shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but was done in by 12 turnovers.

Dolson was honored before the game with a ball to commemorate her 1,000th career point that she scored against Syracuse.

---

Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


FOX SPORTS Videos

Munich celebrates into the night Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Thousands of fans gathered at Munich's Olympic Stadium to watch Germany seal a f...

Your first half MVP's are... Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Jon Paul Morosi is joined by Eno Sarris and Joe Hamrahi to discuss the best play...

Joey Gallo Wins Futures Game MVP Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Futures game MVP Joey Gallo tells JP Morosi about his clutch home run and why he...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Zephyr Florida Gators White DH Fitted Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/21914/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_21000/DS_21914_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Zephyr Florida Gators White DH Fitted Hat
    Zephyr Florida Gators Royal Blue DH Fitted Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/50646/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_50000/DS_50646_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Zephyr Florida Gators Royal Blue DH Fitted Hat
    Ohio State Buckeyes Scrub Top - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/60808/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_60000/FF_60808_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Ohio State Buckeyes Scrub Top - Gray
    Nike Texas Longhorns #7 Burnt Orange Replica Football Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Texas_Longhorns/browse/featuredproduct/62039/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_62000/FF_62039_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 Nike Texas Longhorns #7 Burnt Orange Replica Football Jersey
    Ohio State Buckeyes Scarlet Scrub Top --- http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/67086/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_67000/FF_67086_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Ohio State Buckeyes Scarlet Scrub Top ---
    Michigan Wolverines Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_Wolverines/browse/featuredproduct/70367/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_70000/DS_70367_xl.jpg&w=100 12.95 Michigan Wolverines Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt
    Florida State Seminoles Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_State_Seminoles/browse/featuredproduct/70625/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_70000/DS_70625_xl.jpg&w=100 12.95 Florida State Seminoles Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt
    Texas Longhorns Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Texas_Longhorns/browse/featuredproduct/70626/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_70000/DS_70626_xl.jpg&w=100 12.95 Texas Longhorns Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt
    Kentucky Wildcats Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Kentucky_Wildcats/browse/featuredproduct/70627/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_70000/DS_70627_xl.jpg&w=100 12.95 Kentucky Wildcats Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt
    Ohio State Buckeyes Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/70628/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_70000/DS_70628_xl.jpg&w=100 12.95 Ohio State Buckeyes Ash Vertical Arch Logo T-shirt