SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Tiffany Hayes scored a career-high 35 points, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 19 points and eight rebounds, and third-ranked Connecticut pulled away from Syracuse in the second half en route to 95-54 victory on Wednesday night.
Connecticut (18-2, 7-1 Big East) won its sixth straight overall and beat Syracuse (13-8, 2-5) for the 21st straight time.
The Huskies were coming off an 88-44 win at then-No. 21 DePaul on Saturday night. Connecticut's previous five wins were by an average of 44.5 points and Syracuse, despite a gritty first half, simply became the next team to get run over.
Iasia Hemingway led Syracuse with 15 points and Carmen Tyson-Thomas 11.
Bria Hartley had 18 points for Connecticut, which had 24 points off Syracuse's 17 turnovers and outscored the Orange 21-6 on the fastbreak.
The Huskies also shot 12 of 25 from beyond the arc and shot two more free throws than the Orange, who lead the nation.
It was "Pack the House" night at the Carrier Dome with tickets set at $2 apiece, and among the school-record 4,357 fans was local star Breanna Stewart, the top prospect in the nation. The 6-foot-4 senior at Cicero-North Syracuse High School announced last February that she was headed to UConn, and she wanted a firsthand look at her future team.
At the outset, it was Syracuse who turned some heads, bolting to an 18-11 lead on Kayla Alexander's layup at 13:55. Hayes took control from there, scoring seven points in a 9-0 spurt, her fastbreak layup giving the Huskies a 20-18 lead just over 2 minutes later.
The score was tied three more times, but the Huskies never trailed again.
After Shakeya Leary's pullup jumper in the lane tied it at 24-all, Connecticut ratcheted up the intensity with a press, and the Orange got frazzled. They committed four turnovers, missed two shots and had another blocked as the Huskies held them off the scoreboard for more than 4 minutes.
Hartley's three-point play broke the tie and began a 16-4 run capped by a steal and fastbreak layup by Hayes with 74 seconds left in the period. That gave UConn a 40-30 lead, but the Orange weren't ready to wilt just yet.
Carmen Tyson-Thomas corralled a missed free throw by Leary, passed to Rachel Coffey in the left corner, and she swished a 3 to send Syracuse into the locker room trailing just 40-33 despite 19 points by Hayes.
Alexander's hook to start the second half moved the Orange within five, but the Huskies responded with a flurry of 3s to take control.
Hayes started a 25-5 spurt by hitting from long range on the right wing. Mosqueda-Lewis, who shot 3 for 10 in the first half including 0 for 4 on 3s, followed with a 3 from the same spot. After consecutive three-point plays by Hartley and Hayes, Hayes matched her career high with her sixth 3-pointer of the game. Her long, wide-open shot from the top of the key gave UConn a 61-40 lead with 14:26 left.
Both of Connecticut's losses this season were on the road — 66-61 at top-ranked Baylor and 74-67 in overtime against second-ranked Notre Dame in early January.
Junior guard Caroline Doty, who left the DePaul game after playing just 2 minutes because her troublesome left knee swelled, did not play against Syracuse because of a minor bone bruise in the knee.