By Carl Adamec
PROVIDENCE — Kelly Faris made her 100th consecutive start for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team Tuesday night, only the fourth player in program history to do so.
It’s a tribute to her toughness to go out there every single day and to her good fortune that she’s been able to stay healthy enough to do so. But also give her credit for becoming the player that coach Geno Auriemma hoped she would be when she arrived in Storrs from Plainfield, Ind.
Faris celebrated her milestone with 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists as the third-ranked Huskies routed Providence 105-49 in Big East action at Alumni Hall.
UConn (23-1 overall, 10-1 Big East) has won 11 straight overall and 28 straight against the Friars.
Faris joined Renee Montgomery (140), Jennifer Rizzotti (135), and Jamelle Elliott (106) on the short list of UConn players to start 100 consecutive games. It was also the senior guard’s 139th straight game played, the seventh-longest streak in UConn history.
In her career, the Huskies are 131-8.
Six of UConn’s 11 players and five of Providence’s top eight players were not yet born on March 7, 1993, when the Friars last beat UConn in the 1993 Big East Tournament semifinals here at Alumni Hall.
Providence (7-17, 2-9) played very well for most of the first half Tuesday night but was still no match for UConn.
Tori Rule’s 3-point basket gave the Friars a one-point lead. But Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Caroline Doty answered with treys to start an 11-0 run that took just 57 seconds. All five UConn starters had hit the scoring column with just 2:18 gone.
Nine unanswered points, including five by Faris, made it 30-8. Morgan Tuck gave the Huskies their biggest lead of the half at 50-22. It was 56-29 at halftime.
The Friars got no closer the rest of the way. Heather Buck’s layup with 2:10 left put the Huskies into triple figures.
UConn placed six players in double figures led by Mosqueda-Lewis’ 17. Faris, Stefanie Dolson (14), Breanna Stewart (13), Moriah Jefferson (13), and Bria Hartley (12) also joined the scoring parade. Hartley chipped in seven rebounds and six assists.
Brianna Edwards had 17 points for Providence.
UConn is back on the road Saturday when it takes on Rutgers (SNY, 4 p.m.) in Piscataway, N.J.