Published February 12, 2013
| Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl didn't see the fear against No. 3 Connecticut on Tuesday night that she saw in her team's eyes last month in a blowout loss at Notre Dame.
She didn't like the 105-49 score any better, but said the effort against the Huskies, and the look, was encouraging.
"Because when we went to Notre Dame, that wasn't a look I wanted to see," she said. "That was a big thing ... just demeanor, poise, fight, just continue to fight the entire game. We've got to build something here and you've got to start with those things first."
Brianna Edwards had 17 points to lead Providence (7-17, 2-9), and Tori Rule added 11.
But the aggressive play Robinson Fruchtl liked, also led to 18 personal fouls.
UConn hit 24 of its 30 attempts from the foul line, while Providence attempted just four free throws, hitting two.
"We didn't get to the rim enough," said Robinson Fruchtl. "Any time in this league when you fade, you do not get calls. That's just the way that it is and that's the way it should be. They are going to reward you for going strong."
Kaleena Mosqueda Lewis scored 17 points and Kelly Faris, who started her 100th consecutive game added 16 to lead six Huskies in double figures.
Every player scored for the Huskies, who shot 57 percent from the field, and every player had at least one assist.
Freshman Moriah Jefferson scored a season-high 13 points, hitting six of her seven shots. Fellow first-year Breanna Stewart finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"We made sure we kept moving," said Mosqueda-Lewis. "We didn't get stagnant on offense."
It was UConn's 28th straight win over Providence, which has not beaten the Huskies since the semifinals of the 1993 Big East tournament.
Connecticut, which leads the nation in scoring, opened with a 3-point barrage. Mosqueda-Lewis, Caroline Doty and Bria Hartley all hit 3s, along with a conventional three-point play from Faris helped turn a 3-2 deficit into a 14-3 lead less than 3 minutes into the game.
The Huskies hit their first four from behind the arc and had a 20-point lead less than 7 minutes in.
UConn came into the game ranked fourth nationally in the number of 3-point field goals made per game, while Providence ranked 322nd in field goal defense. The Huskies were 7 of 18 from 3-point range. UConn also showed off its passing game with 22 assists on its 37 baskets.
"When we are making shots like we have been recently, it's hard to keep up with us," Auriemma said. "When we're moving and the ball is moving at the same time we are, we are a hard team to keep up with."
Doty had the 300th assist of her UConn career when she hit Stewart for a layup that gave UConn a 34-14 advantage. The Huskies led 56-29 at halftime, the eighth time they have scored more than 50 in a first half this season.
Mosqueda-Lewis now has 72 3-point baskets. She came into the game hitting 50 percent of her shots from behind the arc, but was just 3 of 8 against the Friars.
Faris became just the fourth Husky to start 100 straight games, joining Renee Montgomery (140), Jennifer Rizzotti (135), and Jamelle Elliott (106).
"It's good to know that coach trusts me, and he's willing to put that trust in me and put me on the court," she said. "It's also a reflection on him. When you have someone that is that trustworthy and respectable as a coach, you're going to want to no disappoint him."
Faris scored the Huskies first three baskets of the second half, including a fast-break reverse layup that gave UConn its first 30-point advantage at 61-31.
UConn cruised from there.
Providence, which won 16 of the first 17 meetings between the teams, but have lost the last 11 meetings between the two teams by an average of more than 39 points.
The Huskies came in leading the nation in scoring at almost 83 points per game, and It was the third straight game the Huskies had put up at least 90 points, the first time they have accomplished that feat this season.
Symone Roberts who is from New Britain, Conn. had nine points for the Friars, but hit just four of her 15 shots.
Roberts and Rule have been responsible for almost 49 percent of the team's offense in conference play, and Roberts had been averaging almost 15 points a game.
The Friars were coming off an 82-54 loss on Sunday to South Florida and have now dropped five of six.
The Huskies need just two more wins to post their 20th straight season with at least 25 win.