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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Connecticut's Azura Stevens, right, shoots as Cincinnati's Shanice Johnson, left, defends, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals at Mohegan Sun Arena, Monday, March 5, 2018, in Uncasville, Conn. 

Monday, March 05, 2018 9:40 pm

UConn improves to 100-0 in AAC play with rout of Cincinnati

PAT EATON-ROBB | Associated Press

 

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Azura Stevens scored 21 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead top-ranked UConn to a 75-21 rout of Cincinnati in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Monday night.

Napheesa Collier added 13 points for the Huskies (31-0), who have now won 100 games against AAC opponents without a loss since the league began play in 2013.

UConn led from the start and used a 38-0 run that stretched from the first quarter into the third to put the game away.

Andeija Puckett had five points for Cincinnati, which fell to 19-12.

The Huskies played without All-American forward Gabby Williams, who tweaked a long-standing hip injury in the Huskies' quarterfinal win over Tulane.

They didn't need her.

The Huskies led just 9-5 after a 3-pointer by Cincinnati's Nikira Goings with 4:39 left in the first quarter. Those would be the last points the Bearcats would score until just over a minute and a half into the second half.

UConn scored the final eight points of the first quarter and outscored Cincinnati 26-0 in the second to take a 43-5 halftime lead.

Shanice Johnson ended the Bearcat drought with a 3-pointer that made it 47-8. UConn continued to stretch the lead, going up by as many as 56 points.

Stevens, starting in place of Williams, had her seventh double-double by intermission, with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

Cincinnati: The Bearcats, who had won six of their previous seven games, shot 14 percent, making just 8 baskets on 58 attempts.

UConn: The five first-half points tied for the fewest the Huskies have ever given up in one half. Fairleigh Dickinson scored five against UConn in November, 2011. ... UConn has won its last 157 games against unranked opponents and has 332 wins in its last 333 games against those outside the Top 25.

UP NEXT

Cincinnati: Awaits what it hopes will be a bid to a postseason tournament

UConn: The Huskies play South Florida in the AAC championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday. This will be the fourth straight time the teams have met for the title. UConn won the previous three by an average of 32 points.