UConn Ends No. 21 DePaul Streak

CHICAGO- What then-No. 2 Stanford and then-No. 16 Notre Dame could not do at McGrath-Phillips Arena last year, No. 3 Connecticut did on Saturday night.

UConn (17-2, 6-1 Big East) defeated DePaul 88-44 in front of a sell-out crowd, ending the Blue Demons 28-game home win streak.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 18 of her game-high 25 points in the first half for the Huskies, but it was UConn's No. 1 ranked defense that won this game for them.

"Our defense creates our offense," said UConn's Bria Hartley (10 points, six steals).

DePaul's first two possessions ended in a turnover and a blocked shot. The Huskies had 18 steals, forced 23 turnovers, scored 33 points off those turnovers and blocked nine shots for the game.

Anna Martin, who had scored 52 points in the past two games and is the Big East's second leading scorer at 19.2 ppg, was held scoreless.

"What we wanted to do was to make sure we pushed Martin out of her comfort zone where she wanted to catch the ball and try to make her be a playmaker rather than a shooter," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

Martin put up just six shots the entire game.

For DePaul, this was a game more of missing players than missed opportunities.

"This is not the same DePaul team that started the season," said Auriemma. "Offense is hard to come by now since [Keisha] Hampton got hurt, so a lot of it is directed towards Martin. And anytime that is the case, it is difficult on a player because everywhere she went tonight we had a hand on her. Kelly Faris is tough enough to play against when you have two or three options, but when you are pretty much the single most important option, it is difficult."

Martin's only other scoreless game in her career at DePaul was last year against UConn.

A jumper by Jasmine Penny cut UConn's lead to 28-16 with 5:32 left in the first half, but the Huskies ended the half on a 25-7 run. The 30-point halftime deficit of 53-23 was the largest faced by DePaul this year.

UConn's 9-0 run to start the second half ended any chance up an upset.

"I have said all along this week that I think there are four teams that have a chance to win a national championship, and those are Baylor, Notre Dame, UConn and Stanford," said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. "I think we are in that next group and we have been fighting for a lot of years to get up to the echelon of this group and we just have not done that yet."

No. 21/19 DePaul got a team-high 18 points from point guard Brittany Hrynko, but UConn's man-to-man full court press forced her into a game-high nine turnovers.

Before the game, Auriemma presented Bruno, Atlanta Dream head coach Marynell Meadors and Washington Mystics assistant coach Jennifer Gillom with U.S.A. Olympic jerseys in honor of the trio being selected as assistant coaches to Auriemma for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"The opportunity for me when I was named the coach was to immediately say ‘this is the guy that I want on my staff," said Auriemma. "[Bruno] has given his life to the game. He has coached the youngest kids, he has won gold medals. I just felt that he deserved it because of what he has done and what he has given to the game."

DePaul (15-5, 3-3 Big East) travels to play No. 7/8 Rutgers on January 24th at 6:00 p.m. CST.

Notes:

- UConn has now won nine of the last ten meetings against DePaul.

- DePaul's Alexa Gallagher and UConn's Caroline Doty attended the same high school in Pennsylvania, Germantown Academy.


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