By Carl Adamec
It’s now up to the Associated Press voters on whether the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team will be No. 1 in the land Monday.
Stefanie Dolson scored 20 of her career-high matching 24 points in the first half as the second-ranked Huskies made their case with an 81-50 rout of No. 16 Texas A&M before a crowd of 7,657 at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas, Sunday.
The top spot in the polls opened up Friday night when top-ranked Baylor was beaten by No. 4 Stanford in Hawaii. UConn has not been No. 1 since the final poll of the 2010-11 season.
With her freshmen teammates struggling in the first half, Dolson did exactly what a junior and leader should do. UConn (2-0) never trailed as Dolson scored seven points in a game-opening 11-2 run. Six straight points by Courtney Walker brought the Aggies to within 16-12, but the Huskies came back with nine unanswered, capped by a Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis layup off a pass and steal from Brianna Banks to take their biggest lead of the period at 13. Dolson’s short jumper right before the buzzer accounted for the 40-28 halftime score.
The Huskies broke it open with a 15-0 run that pushed their lead to 58-31.
Dolson also had six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in her 29 minutes. She was joined in double figures by Mosqueda-Lewis (16), Breanna Stewart (11), and Kelly Faris (10).
UConn’s freshman class of Stewart, Morgan Tuck, and Moriah Jefferson had a rough time in the first half of its first road game with Stewart picking up two fouls in the opening 3:44. The rookies rallied in the second half and aided in the blowout.
The Huskies beat A&M 81-51 a year ago.
Courtney Walker led A&M (0-3) with 20 points. A&M has lost to top 10 opponents Louisville, Penn State, and UConn to open the season.