Renee Montgomery had 19 points and Tina Charles added 16 Sunday as the top-ranked Huskies routed DePaul 86-67 in the second round of the Big East tournament.
Freshman sensation Maya Moore had 14 points and 15 boards for the Huskies (30-1), who reached the 30 win plateau for the third consecutive season.
Allie Quigley had 17 to lead the ninth-seeded Blue Demons, who nearly upset the Huskies a week ago, blowing a 17-point lead in a 77-76 loss at home. The Huskies trailed most of that game until Ketia Swanier hit a driving layup with under 2 seconds left.
DePaul never led in this one.
``When you play bad versus someone, you always want to be able to have the chance to come back and play them again,'' Montgomery said. ``I was glad that we got the opportunity, and how we responded to it.''
The Blue Demons started the game 1-of-10 from the field and saw Connecticut jump out to a 10-2 lead. DePaul cut the lead to two several times, the last at 19-17, but UConn went on a 9-2 run and kept pulling away.
Charles hit 6-of-10 shots before intermission and UConn went into halftime up 44-29. The Huskies scored 26 of those points in the paint, with senior Charde Houston chipping in eight. She had 14 for the game, and hit seven of her 12 shots.
After being a double-digit scorer most of her career, Houston has been averaging just under four points a game this season.
``I haven't forgotten,'' coach Geno Auriemma said. ``There's a lot of things Charde can do with the basketball. And as much as we have a tough matchup trying to guard some their guys, that's a tough matchup for their guys to guard Charde. I do think she kind of got us settled in the lane with a couple shots she made and a couple plays she made.''
UConn led by as many as 31 in the second half, and outscored DePaul 52-32 in the lane. They also outrebounded the Blue Demons 50-32.
``It's a classic example of, 'You put your pants on just like they do, one leg at a time.' It's just that they had longer legs,'' said DePaul coach Doug Bruno.
Moore, the first freshman to be named the conference's player of the year, started off slowly, hitting just one of her first eight shots. But a 3-pointer with 17:41 left in the game put her in double figures, something she has done in every game this season. It was her ninth double-double.
``I don't think I was nervous,'' said Moore. ``Most of (the shots) felt good leaving my hand. It just was a matter of just settling down, relaxing and just shooting them.''
The Blue Demons, who average eight 3-pointers a game, were just 1-of-9 from behind the arc in the first half and 7-of-19 for the game, most of them after the contest had been decided.
``We weren't hitting this time, and we were before,'' Quigley said. ``Obviously, credit there defense, but at the same time, we just weren't hittin', just not tonight.''
Connecticut has now won nine in a row after its lone loss to Rutgers, 73-71, on Feb.5. The Huskies are looking for their 14th Big East tournament title, after winning their 16th regular season championship. They will play fifth-seed Pittsburgh in Monday's semifinals.
The Blue Demons are 20-11 on the season, but just 3-7 against ranked teams as they look for an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.
``We are deserving of being an NCAA tournament team, for certain,'' Bruno said. ``That's really how I'm looking at it and how we're going to prepare.''
Game Notes: DePaul has played in two games in each of its three BIG EAST Tournament apperances... Caprice Smith knocked down her 98th and 99th career three-pointers against the Huskies... she needs one to become the 13th player in school history with 100 career three's... Allie Quigley took sole possession of third all-time with 2,063 career points... she started the 120th game of her career... Erin Carney passed the 600-rebound plateau with five boards... the Blue Demons have 245 three-pointers this season - five shy of the season record of 250 set last year... Connecticut has five straight over DePaul and leads the series, 5-1.
DePaul Falls in Quarters to #1 UConn
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