By Carl Adamec
HARTFORD, Conn. — Stefanie Dolson got about everything she could have wanted Saturday.
The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s junior center scored a career high 25 points, including the 1,000th of her career, as the third-ranked Huskies topped Syracuse 87-62 in Big East action before a season high crowd of 14,789 at the XL Center.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 25 points and nine rebounds for UConn (16-1 overall, 4-1 Big East). Breanna Stewart, back in the lineup after missing two games with a sprained left ankle, had 20 points.
Dolson became the 36th player in UConn history to reach 1,000 when she made a layup off a pass from Brianna Banks with 12:39 left in the first half. She entered with 992 points. Dolson came into the game averaging career highs of 13.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in 26.7 minutes. She ranked first in the Big East and fourth nationally in field-goal percentage (60.8).
Syracuse (15-2, 3-1) hung around until the final 5:00.
The Huskies led by 11 after Dolson’s milestone basket. But Syracuse caught fire and a 13-5 run brought the Orange to within 28-27. But UConn bounced back. Two free throws by Kelly Faris, a hoop by Stewart and a 3-pointer by Bria Hartley made it an eight-point lead. After two free throws by Syracuse’s Elashier Hall, the Huskies scored the final six points of the first half to lead 41-29 at the break.
A Mosqueda-Lewis basket made it 68-46, but an 11-1 run by the Orange brought them too within 12 with just 5:09 remaining. Mosqueda-Lewis then hit a trey and four points by Stewart pushed the lead back to an insurmountable 19.
Carmen Tyson-Thomas had 12 points for Syracuse.
Reserve sophomore center Kiah Stokes was in uniform but sat next to athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle and did not play. She left practice with pain in her troublesome right shin Friday.
It was the final Big East regular season game between UConn and Syracuse. The Orange leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference at the end of the year. The Huskies have won 22 straight meetings.