Nov. 24, 2012
ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands (AP) - Freshman Breanna Stewart scored 17 points to lead No. 2 Connecticut to a 91-57 rout of No. 14 Purdue on Saturday and the championship of the Paradise Jam tournament.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 points for UConn (5-0), before leaving with just over 2 minutes left after taking what appeared to be an inadvertent elbow to the head.
The Huskies had four players in double figures.
Connecticut, which also beat Wake Forest by 61 points and Marist by 42 in the tournament, was expecting a tougher game from the previously undefeated Boilermakers (5-1). But the Huskies jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never trailed.
The defending Big Ten champions were blown out despite shooting 13 of 22 from 3-point range. Courtney Moses led all scorers with 24 points, hitting six of her eight shots from behind the arc. KK Houser added 16 for the Boilermakers.
But the Huskies dominated inside, outscoring Purdue 46-8 in the paint and blocking seven shots.
Purdue turned the ball over on its first four possessions and missed its first five shots, as UConn opened the game on a 16-2 run.
Moses kept Purdue in the game, hitting her first three 3-pointers and scoring 11 of her 24 in the first half. A 3-pointer and layup by Moses on back-to-back possessions cut the UConn lead to 27-15.
But the Huskies forced the Boilermakers into 25 turnovers and 16 in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Stewart stretched the lead back to 37-18 and forced Purdue coach Sharon Versyp to call a timeout, during which she was hit with a technical foul for comments she made to the referees.
A driving layup by Bria Hartley made it 46-26 at halftime. The Huskies increased that to 69-39 midway through the second half, and led by as many as 40.
Purdue's Sam Ostarello, who leads the team in rebounding and had 15 points and 15 in the Boilermakers' win over Wake Forest on Friday night, picked up her fourth foul early in the second half. She finished scoreless with no rebounds.
Stewart, the tournament MVP, matched her season average Saturday after a 20-point, 10-rebound performance in the Huskies' win over Marist on Friday night.
Connecticut has won 49 straight games in regular-season tournaments, dating back to December, 1992 and a loss to Vanderbilt in the Hilton Head Super Shootout.
The Huskies also improved to 5-1 against the Boilermakers and have won five straight in the series. UConn's only loss came in 1990. They last met in the second round of the 2011 NCAA tournament, where the Huskies won 64-40.
The win improves Connecticut's record against ranked teams to 185-58.
Purdue has never beaten a No. 2-ranked team, falling to 0-7 all-time.
The Boilermakers, who beat Marist on Thursday and Wake Forest on Friday, finished the tournament at 2-1. That's a big improvement over their last appearance in the Paradise Jam five years ago, when they went 0-3 in St. Thomas, losing to Duke Temple and Old Dominion.