UConn Huskies women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma is a Hall of Fame Coach. So was the coach on the other sidelines Saturday in C. Vivian Stringer who was going for her 900th career win on Saturday.
And while Geno isn't at 900 wins yet, his team made sure Stringer didn't get hers quite yet.
Morgan Tuck had a huge game off the bench with 15 points and five rebounds to lead the Huskies in a 65-45 win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in front of 5,378 at The RAC on Saturday afternoon.
UConn improves to 24-1 (11-1 Big East) while the Scarlet Knights fall to 14-10 (5-6).
Stefanie Dolson added 14 points for the Huskies with Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis adding 12 points. Moriah Jefferson had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench. Caroline Doty led UConn with five assists.
UConn played the final 35 minutes of this game without Bria Hartley because of an illness she was battling.
Shakena Richardson was the only member of the Scarlet Knights to hit double figures with 10 points. Syessence Davis added eight points and seven rebounds while Monique Oliver had seven points and six rebounds.
Erica Wheeler led Rutgers with seven rebounds.
Rutgers started out the game with a 14-4 run and that forced Auriemma to pull four of his starters from the game with the exception of Dolson. The Huskies then battled back with an 18-4 run of their own to take a 22-18 lead. The Scarlet Knights would keep it close the rest of the way as they trailed by six points at 33-27 at the break.
UConn came out of the gates quickly to start the second half with a 7-0 run to push the lead to lead to double-digits. That would be the end though for Rutgers as they were never able to get any closer than nine points the rest of the way.
I've been saying this over and over.
The Huskies have needed Tuck and Jefferson to step up their games. And lately, they've been doing just that. If Tuck can stay healthy and continue to do what she's been doing, she'll definitely be a key part down the stretch here for the Huskies.
The same goes for Jefferson who has taken her game to another level since Brianna Banks went down with the ACL injury.
UConn will need what they got from them and more their next time out though.
It's a quick turnaround for the Huskies as they'll host the No.1 Baylor Lady Bears on Monday night at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m.
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Here are the postgame quotes from Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer and UConn head coach Geno Auriemma (at bottom of article).
photo credit: stephen dunn - hartford courant (no. 10 in gallery)