STORRS, Conn. (AP) No. 2 UConn was expected to be tested against No. 15 DePaul, the first of five ranked teams it will face this month.
It quickly became clear that the Huskies had all the answers Thursday night.
Kia Nurse scored a career-high 33 points and UConn routed the Blue Demons 91-46 for its 81st straight victory.
Kelly Campbell had 10 points to lead DePaul (5-2).
The Blue Demons missed their first eight shots and were held to a single free throw for nearly 6 minutes to start the game. UConn (6-0), which has won 53 straight at home, hit its first nine shots, most of them on the break, and jumped out to a 22-1 lead.
By the end of the quarter, UConn led 37-6.
''We played with a little bit more of a purpose defensively and that got us off and running,'' coach Geno Auriemma said. ''We created a lot of easy shots for ourselves.''
Nurse, who hadn't scored more than 15 points this season, made three quick layups and had 19 points after 10 minutes. She hit 12 of her 16 shots, including her first nine and was 6 of 9 from 3-point range.
She didn't miss until a corner 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, when she had already eclipsed her previous career high with 24 points.
''I came into this game and said I was going to do the little things that I was good at and running the floor is one of those things,'' Nurse said. ''To get out in transition and have that work out the first couple of shots was pretty cool.''
UConn was 15 of 19 from the floor in the first quarter, while holding. DePaul to just 2 of 14. UConn also had a 20-0 advantage in the paint and 16 fast-break points.
The Huskies went into halftime leading 53-19 and pushed that to 80-30 after the third quarter.
UConn made 59.3 percent of its shots and held DePaul to just 25 percent shooting.
THE BIG PICTURE
UConn: UConn coach Geno Auriemma has said he hopes someone gives his team a wake-up call to show them that winning isn't as easy as they think. The Huskies face four more ranked opponents before the end of the month that might be able to do that, including No. 14 Texas on Sunday and No. 1 Notre Dame three days later. UConn also plays No. 9 Ohio State and No. 5 Maryland before January.
''There's no guarantee like the past couple years that, yeah we got this,'' Auriemma said. ''It's a wait and see. It's a process. I just don't want to take any steps back. I don't know how many steps forward we're going to take. I just don't want to take any steps back.''
DePaul: The Blue Demons made just 17 of 68 shots and made seven of their 40 shots from behind the arc. They came into the game making just under 39 percent from 3-point range, and were averaging a nation's best 13.5 3-pointers a game.
This was DePaul's third straight game against a ranked team. They lost to No. 5 Baylor 104-72 and beat No. 11 Syracuse, a game in which they hit 19 3-pointers.
''College basketball really is cruel and its cool,'' DePaul coach Doug Bruon said. ''When you throw the ball to the other team and give up breakaway layups like we did tonight it's pretty cruel, especially against good players. It's also cool because you get a chance to come back pretty quickly, and I've seen teams throughout my many years, six, seven, eight days later, you don't even know it's the same team. We really are going to be better for what happened tonight than for not having played tonight.''
Should they have a similarly impressive win Sunday against No. 14 Texas, UConn may pick up a few more first-place votes going into the Dec. 7 showdown with top-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend
UConn's perimeter defense led to 24 DePaul turnovers and sparked the Huskies transition game. UConn outscored the Blue Demons 26-4 on the fast break and 44-10 in the paint.
UConn freshman guard Crystal Dangerfield, who missed the Huskies win on Tuesday against Chattanooga with concussion-like symptoms, came off the bench in this one. She played 23 minutes and had three points and two assists.
Auriemma and Bruno received Olympic rings from USA Basketball in a ceremony before the game. Bruno has served as an assistant to Auriemma on the last two gold-medal winning USA Olympic teams. Auriemma was named USA Basketball's co-coach of the year Thursday, sharing the honor with men's Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski.
UConn won't be spending a lot of time playing in Storrs during the next two months. This was its last game at Gampel Pavilion until Jan. 22 against Tulane. They Huskies will play at Mohegan Sun on Sunday and have four games at the XL Center in Hartford in December and January. They play eight games on the road.
UConn: The Huskies continue their string of games against ranked opponents when they face the Longhorns on Sunday at the Mohegan Sun arena, about 30 miles south of UConn's campus.
DePaul: The Blue Demons host Prairie View on Monday, before welcoming Notre Dame on Dec. 10.
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