Feb. 11, 2012
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STORRS, Conn. (AP) -
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis acknowledges she was a little anxious to get out of the first slump of her college career.
But after shooting just 9 for 39 her previous three games, the freshman scored 23 points Saturday to lead third-ranked Connecticut to its 99th consecutive home victory, 80-38 over No. 14 Georgetown.
Mosqueda-Lewis hit 10 of 16 shots in her sixth 20-point game of the season.
"Everybody talked about how everybody hits that freshman wall, it's just a matter of when you hit it" she said. "I was like, `Oh, hopefully I don't hit it.' But, I hit it. It's been kind of tough, but I'm working through it."
Bria Hartley added 18 points for UConn (23-2, 11-1 Big East), which held the Hoyas to 25-percent shooting and 24 points below their season average.
Sugar Rodgers and Rubylee Wright each had 10 for Georgetown (19-6, 8-4), which lost for the first time in five games.
The Hoyas led 12-11 midway through the first half before UConn took over, outscoring the Hoyas 51-14 over the next 20 minutes.
"We just all got on the same page," said Hartley, who also had five rebounds and three steals. "We just talked to each other, made sure we were cutting hard and just taking care of the ball."
Connecticut hasn't lost at home since the finals of the 2007 Big East tournament, and has won 51 consecutive regular-season conference games at home.
UConn used a 15-1 first-half run to take a 26-13 lead. The Huskies held the Hoyas without a field goal for almost 8 minutes, and punctuated the run with a layup by Stefanie Dolson through a hard foul by Adria Crawford.
The Huskies led 31-18 at halftime, and back-to-back 3-pointers from Kelly Faris and Caroline Doty stretched the lead to 37-20 less than 1 1/2 minutes into the second half. A three-point play by Hartley stretched the lead to 20 points, and a free throw by Faris put the Huskies up 30 with more than 12 minutes remaining.
"When Kelly and Caroline hit those two threes to start the half, that definitely got us going," Hartley said. "When we're hitting shots, it's hard to defend us."
UConn improved to 178-57 against ranked opponents.
It was Connecticut's 27th consecutive win over Georgetown, a team UConn has beaten 44 times during their 50 meetings. UConn is the only Big East team that Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy has never beaten. She came close during their last meeting, a 68-63 loss in last year's NCAA regional semifinals.
"It's tough to come and play here," Williams-Flournoy said. "Last year we played at our place; we played at the Big East and then we played at Temple. So you're on neutral sites every time. It's tough to come in here and play. Even as experienced as we, it's still a tough place to come in here and play."
Georgetown had won six of seven games coming in, allowing just 48.5 points a game during that span. The Hoyas' only loss came by three points to No. 20 Louisville on Jan. 22.
But they could not find an answer for UConn's defense. Rodgers was held almost 10 points below her season average.
"If they have one of their best players and we don't stop them we're going to hear about it non-stop," said Faris, who guarded Rodgers all afternoon. "Those are the types of things we focus on."
Georgetown had just five assists and turned the ball over 21 times, while UConn had just 14 turnovers after giving the ball away 22 times in Wednesday's 10-point win at No. 20 Louisville.
The Huskies had been forcing an average of 21 turnovers a game, but had averaged almost 18 themselves over their last six contests, drawing the ire of head coach Geno Auriemma.
"We didn't work for the open turnover," Auriemma joked. "Today, we went pass, pass, shot."
Dolson, Doty, Heather Buck, Kiah Stokes and Faris were among 346 UConn student athletes honored during a ceremony at halftime for achieving grade point averages of at least 3.0 during the fall semester.
"We recruit really good students," Auriemma said. "We try to go out and find the best players in the country who are good students, and work at it."