Jan. 12, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – No. 1 UConn breaks from conference play to face No. 7 Baylor in a nationally ranked battle on Monday, Jan. 13 at 7pm ET. The Huskies travel to Waco, Texas for the second time in program history, having dropped the lone decision at the Ferrell Center in December 2011 by a five-point deficit. The game can be seen on ESPN 2 with Beth Mowins directing play-by-play, Doris Burke providing color commentary, and Stephanie White reporting from the sideline. IMG/UConn Radio Network will provide radio coverage of all the action.
Both programs enter Monday evening’s game with two wins apiece in the all-time series. UConn claimed the first two contests in April 2010 and November 2010, but the Lady Bears have won two-straight against Connecticut since December 2011. Most recently, Baylor bested UConn in February 2013 at the XL Center in Hartford, despite Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis’ (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Baylor defeated TCU by 34 points on Saturday to extend its winning streak to six games following a four-overtime loss to No. 5 Kentucky on Dec. 6. The defeat supplied the lone blemish on the Lady Bears’ record this season, as they top the Big 12 rankings with a 4-0 showing in conference play.
Star point guard Odyssey Sims drives Baylor’s offense, averaging 31.8 points per game on a 51.6 percent shooting percentage and dishing out 67 assists. Sims set a career-high with 48 points against West Virginia on January 8. Nina Davis represents the only other Lady Bear averaging double figures with 14.4 pointer per game, also hauling down 7.2 rebounds per contest for second-best on the squad. Connecticut will provide Baylor’s second test against a ranked opponent after the loss to Kentucky.
UConn travels to Texas with a 23-game winning streak dating back to last year’s NCAA Tournament, which is the seventh-longest in program history. The Huskies passed early challenges against ranked foes in Stanford, Maryland, Penn State, Duke, and California to remain firmly seated atop the throne as the No. 1 team in the nation.
Five Huskies average double-figure points with Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y. leading the way at 18.1 points per game. She has only been held in the single-digits on two occasions this season (against Stanford and Ohio State), racking up seven 20-plus point games and four double-doubles. Stewart snagged four steals for the third time this season against Temple on Saturday, also adding three blocks to her afternoon.
Ranking third on the team in points and leading the blocking effort of late, senior Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y) is posting 13.4 points per contest and recorded a pair of 7-block games last week against Houston and Temple. The center plays big minutes for the Huskies, leading all players with 30.9 minutes per game.
Fellow senior Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.) hit double-digits for the eleventh time this season with a 19-point effort against Temple to lead the team. Hartley also logged four steals and distributed two assists in the win. Hartley’s 35 thefts rank second only to Moriah Jefferson’s (Glenn Heights, Texas) 42 takeaways, which are good for third in the conference. The Texas native averages 10.2 points per game and leads the team with 79 assists.
The Huskies are on of two remaining undefeated Division I teams in women's college basketball, including No. 2 Notre Dame. UConn will put its perfect record and 201-60 all-time record against Top-25 ranked foes on the line tomorrow evening in Texas.