Sports

Top-ranked Connecticut women open title defense with 89-34 rout of Hartford

  • Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma speaks with Hartford coach Jennifer Rizzotti before an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)

    Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma speaks with Hartford coach Jennifer Rizzotti before an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)  (The Associated Press)

  • Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart (30) shoots over Hartford forward Alyssa Reaves (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)

    Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart (30) shoots over Hartford forward Alyssa Reaves (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)  (The Associated Press)

  • Hartford  forward Milana Gilbert (15) is guarded by Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)

    Hartford forward Milana Gilbert (15) is guarded by Connecticut center Stefanie Dolson (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)  (The Associated Press)

Moriah Jefferson scored a career-high 17 points and top-ranked Connecticut began the defense of its eighth national title with an 89-34 rout of in-state rival Hartford on Saturday.

The sophomore guard, who also had five assists, led a balanced offensive that saw four players reach double figures.

Center Stefanie Dolson had 16 points and six rebounds. Breanna Stewart added 14 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis chipped in 12 for the Huskies.

Freshman Deanna Mayza led Hartford with eight points.

The competition for the Huskies gets much stiffer very quickly for UConn, which hosts No. 3 Stanford on Monday and has road games against No. 8 Maryland and No. 13 Penn State in the next eight days.

Connecticut hit its first six shots, and used an 18-0 to go up 27-9 and take control of the game. UConn held the Hawks without a point for almost 8 ½ minutes during that spurt.