Women's Basketball Falls at No. 4 UConn
Storrs, Conn. – Last season, the Tigers held their own for 12 minutes against No. 1 UConn before Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma went to the press. This year, Auriemma took no chances, starting with full-court pressure as the No. 4 ranked Huskies took a 112-53 win over the Pacific women's basketball team Tuesday night at Gampel Pavilion. Tigers' junior guard Erica McKenzie drained five three-pointers, and finished with a team-high 16 points to go with five assists.
McKenzie also converted a four-point play in the first half, stroking a three from the wing while being fouled.
Junior forward Kendall Rodriguez added 12 points with a pair of three-pointers, while senior Christina Thompson chipped in seven points and five rebounds. Junior forward Ashley Smith converted all three of her field goal attempts to finish with six points, and the transfer from Eugene, Oregon, also added an assist and a pair of steals.
Junior Ashley Wakefield and Gena Johnson each added four points while freshman Kendall Kenyon and junior Brianna Johnson each recorded their first field goals of the season. Sophomore Sam Pettinger handed out four assists, one off her career high.
Six players finished in double-figures, for the Huskies, who shot 70.7 percent from the field and turned 26 turnovers into 41 points. Freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit 10 of 12 field goal attempts, including five-of-six from behind the three-point arc for a game-high 25 points. Guard Bria Hartley added 18 points while Brianna Banks chipped in 12. Guards Tiffany Hayes, Caroline Doty and Kelly Faris each posted 11 points.
"You've got to give UConn a lot of credit. I've never seen a game as a player or coach where a team shot 71 percent," head coach Lynne Roberts. "Part of that was our defense, and the turnovers, but they just shot the lights out."
Five minutes in, the Tigers trailed by just four, 11-7, but UConn exploded for a 30-2 run over six minutes to seize control of the game. Pacific committed 17 first half turnovers, leading to 27 points, as the Huskies shot 71 percent in the opening 20 minutes (25-of-35). When Pacific was it the half-court offense, they converted at a 33-percent clip from the field. But UConn's size upfront led to a 19-7 advantage on the boards and Connecticut took a 68-25 lead into half time.
In the second half, the Tigers picked up 28 points, connecting on 10 of 29 from the field. But the Huskies continued to drain shots, hitting 16-of-23 and finishing with a field goal percentage of 70.7 (41-of-58).
UConn also owned a 34-19 advantage on the glass, as 6-3 Heather Buck pulled down six, 6-5 Stefanie Dolson grabbed five, and 6-0 Mosqueda-Lewis led the Huskies on the glass with seven, while the Tigers' 6-0 Christina Thompson paced Pacific with her five boards.
The Tigers fall to 0-2 on the young season, and return home to the Alex G. Spanos Center to face St. Mary's on Saturday at 7 p.m.