Feb. 19, 2014
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - UConn's Bria Hartley has never had a 40-point game or a triple-double.
However, the senior guard will leave the school as one of the most prolific offense players in the program's storied history.
Her 20 points Wednesday night helped UConn to an 83-35 rout of Central Florida. She also pulled down four rebounds to join Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi as the only Huskies to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.
"She's like Derek Jeter," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "She came in as a young kid and you can count on her every game, pretty much. She shows up. She plays as hard as she can. She's my wife's favorite player, I know that."
She was one of two Huskies to reach milestones in the rout of UCF.
Breanna Stewart scored 23 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked seven shots. The sophomore scored her 1,000th career point on the Huskies' first basket, a short jump shot after grabbing an offensive rebound. She reached the milestone in just her 63rd game at Connecticut. Only Moore did it faster, needing just 55 games.
Freshman Saniya Chong added a season-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies (27-0, 14-0 American Athletic Conference), who jumped out to a 26-point lead in the first half and extended it in the second.
"It was an important game for me," Chong said. "I came out today and worked pretty hard."
Zykira Lewis had 11 points to lead Central Florida (10-16, 3-12), which has lost 12 of its last 14 games.
The game started with Central Florida's Sara Djassi grabbing the tip and heading toward the wrong basket. It didn't get much better for the Knights.
The Huskies held Central Florida to 12 field goals on 70 shots and outscored the Knights 44-6 in the paint.
Stewart's milestone bucket started an 11-0 run that put the Huskies up 11-2. Hartley grabbed three rebounds during that stretch, to reach the 500 plateau. She also has 1,760 points and 502 assists.
"Diana (Taurasi) was one of the players I looked up to and to Maya being here and to be able to play with her was awesome," she said. "To be in a category with them, it's awesome."
UConn used a 13-3 run later in the half to stretch the lead to 30-12, and it was 46-20 at halftime.
The Huskies opened the second half on a 22-2 run to make it 68-22. UCF hit just one of 22 shots during that 12-minute stretch.
"Obviously you're not going to hold them scoreless," said Central Florida coach Joi Williams. "But what we wanted to do was to try to limit some transition opportunities, which we didn't do a very good job of.
UConn has been beating its opponents by an average of 36 points this season.
The Huskies had 11 blocked shots, two over their season average. Stefanie Dolson, Stewart and Kiah Stokes all rank among the top 30 shot-blockers in the nation.
This was the final game of the season for the Huskies in Hartford. They have one more game at home on March 1 on campus, and in between head to Texas for games against Houston and SMU.
The winning streak, which dates back to last year's run to the program's eighth national title, is now tied for the fourth-longest in school history. The Huskies have the two longest streaks in NCAA history, a 90 game streak than ended in 2010, and a 70-game streak that ended in 2003.
UConn is playing with just seven scholarship players since losing forward Morgan Tuck last month to knee surgery and All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for up to six weeks with mononucleosis.
The Knights have been playing for the last month without their star, Briahanna Jackson. The sophomore scored 28 points in the first meeting with the Huskies, a 28-point loss on New Year's Day. She left the team 10 days later for personal reasons.
UCF fell to 0-13 against ranked teams under Williams.