Posted: Feb 16, 2014 4:41 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2014 4:42 PM
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Bria Hartley scored 18 points and Breanna Stewart and Stefanie Dolson each had 15 to help No. 1 Connecticut remain unbeaten with a 63-38 rout of cold-shooting South Florida on Sunday.
The Huskies (26-0, 13-0 American Athletic Conference) also got 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists from 5-foot-7 guard Moriah Jefferson while holding USF (13-11, 8-5) to 26 percent shooting.
Inga Orekhova made four 3-pointers and led USF with 13 points, but the Bulls leading scorer Courtney Williams was limited to seven points matching a season low on 3 of 18 shooting.
UConn won an earlier matchup between the teams by 28 three weeks ago, and the defending national champions had little difficulty extending their winning streak to 32 consecutive games despite playing without All-American forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who is expected to be sidelined three to six weeks because of mononucleosis.
Back on the bench after being hospitalized for five days because of an allergic reaction to medication, USF coach Jose Fernandez watched his team miss 13 of its first 14 shots in falling behind 16-3 in the opening minutes. The Bulls trailed by as many as 20 before heading into the locker room down 32-15 at the half.
The Bulls shot 19.4 percent (6 of 31) in the opening half, with Williams misfiring on 11 of 13 attempts while being held to five points before the break. It didn't get any easier for the sophomore guard who was hounded all afternoon by Jefferson, who also had a blocked shot and a steal on an impressive stat line.
Hartley made a 3-pointer and Stewart followed with a layup to finish a 9-0 spurt that put UConn up 44-21 with 12:41 remaining. She finished 7 of 14 from the field and had four rebounds and two assists.
Meanwhile, Stewart and Dolson dominated inside, scoring most of their points off layups and grabbing eight rebounds apiece.
UConn shot just 46.8 percent and improved to 14-0 all-time against USF, including 6-0 in Tampa. The Huskies beat the Bulls 81-53 in Hartford on Jan. 26.