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No. 2 Duke women routed by No. 1 UConn, 83-61
December 18, 2013, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. — Another undefeated start to a season for No. 2 Duke. Another high-profile meeting with Connecticut. Another lopsided loss.

The top-ranked Huskies spoiled yet another of the Blue Devils’ perfect starts by blowing them out, the latest coming Tuesday night in an 83-61 rout.

Chelsea Gray had 13 points and Haley Peters finished with 11 for Duke (10-1).

The Blue Devils went 8 1/2 minutes between baskets while missing 12 shots in a row during the pivotal stretch that brought the end of their 24-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium — a run that dated to UConn’s last visit in 2011.

“There’s a lot of energy in the building, but we just didn’t maintain it for ourselves with each other,” Peters said, “and we didn’t use it in the right way all the time.”

The Huskies, the only visitors to beat Duke on its home floor since 2008, now have done it three times since anybody else has found a way to do it once.

UConn also spoiled an undefeated start by the Blue Devils with a rout for the third time in four seasons.

“We didn’t do what we needed to do defensively,” coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “We didn’t rebound the way we need to rebound. And we showed little patience on offense at critical times.”

UConn got a career-high seven 3-pointers from Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis in her first game back from injury. Breanna Stewart had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies (11-0), and Stefanie Dolson had 14 points and Bria Hartley finished with 13.

Stewart “showed why she’s the best player in the country, and obviously (Mosqueda-Lewis) enjoyed her first game back,” McCallie said. “And we didn’t help matters much.”

UConn shot 49 percent and pushed its lead well into the 20s, turning the 52nd meeting of Nos. 1 and 2 into the latest blowout in this series.

“I think I would be less than honest if I said I thought we could come in here and win by 20,” coach Geno Auriemma said. “Simply because we haven’t played in (12 days). We weren’t sure what we were going to get from (Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck). And I thought Duke being at home and they’ve got a bunch of upperclassmen ... it would be a little bit different.”

It wasn’t.

UConn won its seventh straight in the series — the previous six were decided by an average of nearly 30 points.

Stewart did much of the early damage in her first appearance in front of the Cameron Crazies — or at least what was left of them, with the Duke students on winter break. She was four points shy of the career high she matched last month against Oregon.

And every time Duke threatened to make a run, the Huskies found a way to get Mosqueda-Lewis a clean look from behind the 3-point line. She was especially accurate from the corners while showing no signs of rust after missing eight games with a nerve contusion on her right elbow.

“I don’t think we would have won the game the way we won it without her,” Auriemma said.

The Blue Devils, who spent the second half trying to claw their way back into the game, pulled to 65-52 on Elizabeth Williams’ layup with just under 8 minutes left.

After a timeout, UConn worked the ball around the perimeter to Mosqueda-Lewis, who swished her fifth 3 to restore the Huskies’ 18-point lead and help them pull away for their 17th straight win.

“That’s something that coach has been telling me since last year — that I need to shoot every shot like it’s the last shot, and shoot every shot like it’s an important shot,” Mosqueda-Lewis said.

Tricia Liston and Alexis Jones each finished with 10 points for Duke, which earned just five free throws and was 4 of 18 from 3-point range.

“Horrible shot selection,” McCallie said. “Chucking up shots.”

The Blue Devils were denied their first win over a No. 1 team since 2007 — and were in serious danger of being run right off its home floor in the first half.

Stewart scored 15 points in the half, and 12 of those came during the 13-minute span in which the Huskies outscored Duke 35-11 and turned a one-point deficit into a 38-15 lead.

“You can’t necessarily win a game in five minutes, but you can lose a game in five minutes if you don’t do certain things, and then your body language and the way you react in those five minutes,” Auriemma said. “... If we score enough points during those six minutes and you don’t, it’s going to be hard to catch up.”

———

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

 

 

Tags: points, lewis, minutes, mosqueda, , first,


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