Let me preface this by saying there's nothing more I like better than when a team I like beats the crap out of any Duke team. I don't care what the sport is, I'm just not a fan of Duke at all. I think it all stems back from when Christian Laettner hit a buzzer-beat to knock the UConn Huskies men's basketball team out of the NCAA's back in 1992. Of course we all know what he did for an encore against Kentucky in the next game.
So when the UConn Huskies women's basketball team took the court on Tuesday night against the Blue Devils, one of the teams had one loss and was ranked No. 2 while the other was undefeated and ranked No. 3. Under normal circumstances, the one loss team probably wouldn't be UConn but it was.
But after starting out the game with a 13-0 run that ended up being part of a 21-2 run, the undefeated Blue Devils were pretty much done as they fell to UConn 87-51 in front of 10,031 and a nationally-televised audience on ESPN2 at Gampel Pavilion on UConn's campus in Storrs, CT.
With the win, the Huskies improve to 21-1 and will have one more non-conference game against the Oklahoma Sooners on Valentine's Day. Duke, who was the last undefeated team in women's basketball, falls to 20-1.
The leader of the Huskies, Maya Moore, did her thing as she had 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Tiffany Hayes added 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Kelly Faris chipped in with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. Stefanie Dolson led UConn with 12 rebounds to go along with her eight points.
Only one member of the Blue Devils hit double-digits and that was their leader Jasmine Thomas, who finished with 13 points. Krystal Thomas had nine points and six rebounds. Karima Christmas led the Dukies with seven rebounds and had six points.
As I said above, this one was pretty much over when Hayes made a layup just eight seconds into the game. Her basket was followed up by a Faris three-pointer, an old fashioned three-point play, another Faris three-pointer and a Moore layup. And just like that, it was 13-0 UConn with 15:16 to go in the game.
After missing their first 11 shots, Shay Selby finally got the Dukies on the Gampel Pavilion scoreboard with a layup. But the Huskies continued to be aggressive on the offensive end and ran off ten straight points before Christmas went 1-for-2 at the charity stripe.
UConn would continue to dominate on the offensive end and played some great defense all while the Blue Devils couldn't put the ball in the basket. The Huskies lead would get as high as 31 points before they had to settle for a 41-15 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Blue Devils came out to play, something they probably should have thought of doing in the first half.
Duke pressed a little more and forced some turnovers all while actually making a few baskets. They would get as close as 18 points at 50-32 before the Huskies would seal the deal with an 11-0 run.
I absolutely loved the way UConn came out and defended its home court. They were aggressive on the offensive end while doing the same at the defensive end. Simply put, they played Connecticut basketball.
It was nice to see Faris come out and hit her first two three-pointers of the night. She's really been struggling with that shot as of late and making those had to give her the utmost confidence. She ended up going 4-for-6 from three-point land on the night.
Although this was supposed to a be a difficult game, it wasn't. I do expect the Huskies to be tested on Saturday afternoon when the DePaul Blue Demons come to Gampel Pavilion. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be televised locally here in Connecticut on CPTV. And oh by the way, the Blue Demons did something that UConn wasn't able to do this year.
They beat the Stanford Cardinal. If that's not motivation, I don't know what is.
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