STORRS, Conn. – Stefanie Dolson scored 16 points, Tiffany Hayes had 14 and No. 3 Connecticut beat 13th-ranked Rutgers 66-34 on Saturday night for its 98th consecutive home victory.
The Huskies (21-2, 9-1 Big East) grabbed control with a 17-0 run midway through the first half. Hayes got the run started with eight straight points. Then Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis took over, hitting three straight 3-pointers. All three of the freshman's shots barely even moved the net.
Rutgers (17-6, 6-4) scored seven straight to cut it to 10, but UConn closed the half with 14 of the final 18 points to lead 37-19 at the break.
Monique Oliver scored 15 points for the Scarlet Knights, who could only get within 16 in the second half.
UConn's last home loss was against Rutgers in the Big East tournament title game in 2007, which was played in Hartford. The NCAA recognizes Connecticut's postseason games played in Hartford or Storrs as home contests.
Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer started four freshmen and junior center Monique Oliver for the second straight game. Just like in their loss to No. 2 Notre Dame, the talented young group held their own for the first few minutes before Hayes and UConn took control with the huge run.
It was the 11th time in the past 12 games that Hayes has scored in double figures. The senior guard set a UConn record for points in consecutive games last week when she had 68 total in wins over Syracuse and South Florida.
Rutgers tried playing a deliberate plodding style, constantly working the shot clock down to the final few seconds before attempting a shot. The Scarlet Knights just couldn't convert many of their opportunities on offense.
Rutgers finished with 13 baskets, 21 turnovers and 19 fouls. The Scarlet Knights had only hit three baskets in the first 17 minutes of the second half, going nearly 7 minutes without a field goal at one point as UConn extended its advantage to 33 points.
It was the second straight game that the Huskies held a ranked opponent to under 46 points. UConn beat Duke 61-45 on Monday night. The Huskies lead the nation in defense, giving up just 45 points a game.
The Scarlet Knights have dropped three straight games, getting blown out by No. 20 Georgetown, second-ranked Notre Dame and now No. 3 UConn.
Rutgers was once again without senior guard Khadijah Rushdan, who suffered a concussion in the first half of the loss to the Hoyas. She didn't travel to Connecticut with the Scarlet Knights so she could continue to recover.
Rushdan is the second-leading scorer on the team and had been playing really well before getting hurt. She rescued the Scarlet Knights from a 16-point deficit in the second half to beat DePaul. She scored the final 11 points of that game, including the winning lay-in with 1.5 seconds left.
The Scarlet Knights have eight days off until their next game when they host St. John's. Rutgers' schedule does get a bit easier; it currently has no more games left against Top 25 teams.
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