By Carl Adamec
STORRS, Conn. — Whatever University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma said to his team at halftime the Huskies executed almost perfectly Monday night.
Third-ranked UConn turned a close game at the break into a second-half rout as it defeated previously unbeaten and No. 4 Duke 79-49 before a loud crowd of 9,671 at Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies (17-1) have won six straight games in the series against the Blue Devils (16-1) by an average of 29.3 points.
But this one seemed like it might be different for a half. The Blue Devils erased an 11-6 deficit with an 8-2 run. UConn led 31-27 but Elizabeth Williams’ three-point play brought Duke within one. Moriah Jefferson’s free throw made it 32-30 at the break.
It was 41-35 when the Huskies broke it open with a 24-4 run, doing most of the damage with center Stefanie Dolson on the bench with four fouls. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart had six points each in the run. UConn’s biggest lead was 31.
Mosqueda-Lewis had 21 points for UConn while Kelly Faris had a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds). She also had six assists while locking up Duke point guard Chelsea Gray. Stewart finished with 13 points. Alexis Jones had 14 points, 12 in the first half, for Duke.
UConn visits Cincinnati Saturday (8 p.m., SNY).