No. 1 UConn routs Bulls

The unanimous No. 1-ranked University of Connecticut continued its undefeated season in dominating fashion with an 83-37 victory over South Florida on Tuesday night at the Sun Dome.

It was the second-largest loss at home in USF history, and the Huskies did it with defense.

“We went in knowing that this is a team that’s making nine three-pointers a game,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “That’s a number we were very concerned with. We wanted to not allow any uncontested or open threes.”

The Bulls were held to 26 points in the opening half and shot 28.6 percent from the floor.

The Huskies, led by junior center Tina Charles, out-rebounded the Bulls 54-36. Charles scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds on her way to a double-double.

“That’s just something that I have to do,” Charles said. “I’m trying to take a lot of pride in
just rebounding.”

UConn all-American forward Maya Moore, who led the game in scoring with 24 points, also praised the defense. USF’s season leading scorer, senior Shantia Grace, was held to eight points in the game.

“I thought our defensive pressure was great,” Moore said. “I give a lot of credit to our guards just being smart and not allowing a lot of threes.”

USF coach Jose Fernandez admits that not all the Bulls’ woes were caused by the relentless Connecticut defense.

“We did not help ourselves with a lot of the things we did, without a doubt,” Fernandez said.

The Bulls committed 26 turnovers — 12 of which were forced by the UConn defense.

The Bulls have 14 remaining Big East games and are far from mathematically out of contention for a NCAA Tournament bid.

Fernandez is optimistic about this point and his team’s chance to improve.

“We’re 13 and three,” Fernandez said. “We’ve got 13 on the good side, and we need to just keep building on that good side.”