No. 2 UConn women stymie No. 25 DePaul 98-64
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- No. 2 UConn took about 5 minutes to shake off the rust of a two-week break from basketball.
Breanna Stewart scored 25 points and the Huskies routed No. 25 DePaul 98-64 on Friday night.
Kia Nurse had 19 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 16 points and nine rebounds for UConn (7-1), which had not played since beating Notre Dame on Dec. 6. Morgan Tuck and Gabby Williams each had 14 points.
Brittany Hrynko led DePaul (7-4) with 17 points. Jessica January and Megan Rogowski each added 13 points.
UConn held the Blue Demons 27 points under their season average.
The game was tied at 24 before UConn switched to a zone defense and went on a 12-0 run. The Huskies led by 20 at halftime and stretched the lead from there.
"The first couple minutes were a little rough for us, for defense," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "It took us a while to get the engine pumping."
DePaul hit its first six shots from the floor, and didn't miss until a jumper by January fell off the side of the rim 5 minutes into the game.
But the Blue Demons finished the first half 13 of 32 from the floor.
A 4-point play by Nurse made it 40-26. A 3-pointer by Stewart gave the Huskies their first 20-point lead at 49-29. She had 21 in the first half and UConn led 53-33 at the break.
"I think the break was good for me," said Stewart, who had been averaging just 16 points a game this season. "I felt that I wasn't doing as much as I could have done on the court.
UConn scored the first five points of the second half and DePaul didn't challenge again.
Stewart left the game with just under 7 minutes remaining and UConn holding a 27-point lead after giving fans a scare by grabbing her knee after a collision. She popped up a few seconds later and walked off the court.
This was DePaul's third loss this season against a top-five team. The Blue Demons fell to Texas A&M in their season opener, and lost to Notre Dame in overtime. Their other loss came to Chicago-rival Northwestern in two overtimes.
"The national championship this year is going to have to be won through the UConn Huskies," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "They are the best team in the country, and there is nobody better than them."
DePaul came in ranked third in the nation in scoring, putting up 91.5 points per game and was averaging 10 baskets a game from 3-point range. The Blue Demons were 6 of 27 from behind the arc on Friday.
UConn outscored DePaul 50-28 in the paint.
UConn: The Huskies have played 12 times at Bridgeport's Webster Bank Arena, 10 of them during the NCAA tournament. The Huskies improved to 11-1 here, and 2-0 in regular-season games after beating Temple 80-36 last season.
DePaul: DePaul falls to 1-12 against UConn. The Blue Demons only win in the series came in the first meeting between the two programs, back in 1983.
Mosqueda-Lewis hit three more 3-point baskets Friday, giving her 306 for her career. She trails just Diana Taurasi (318) and Maya Moore (311) on the school's all-time list. Taurasi took 811 shots from behind the arc during her career, and Moore attempted 769. Mosqueda-Lewis has shot just 672.
UConn: The Huskies will play UCLA on Sunday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.
DePaul: Returns to Chicago for a game Monday night against Hampton.