By Joedy McCreary AP Sports Writer
December 18, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 points on a career-high seven 3-pointers, and No. 1 Connecticut beat second-ranked Duke 83-61 on Tuesday night.
Breanna Stewart had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies (11-0).
UConn shot 49 percent, held the Blue Devils without a field goal for a critical 8½-minute stretch while pushing its lead well into the 20s and turned the 52nd meeting of Nos. 1 and 2 into the latest blowout in this series.
Stefanie Dolson had 14 points and Bria Hartley finished with 13 for UConn, which won its seventh straight against Duke. The previous six were decided by average of nearly 30 points.
Chelsea Gray had 13 points and Haley Peters finished with 11 for Duke (10-1), which had its 24-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium snapped — a run that dated to UConn’s last visit in 2011.
The Huskies, the only visitors to beat Duke on its home floor since 2008, now have done it three times since anybody else has found a way to do it once.
They also spoiled the Blue Devils’ undefeated start with a rout for the third time in four seasons.
Stewart did much of the early damage in her first appearance in front of the Cameron Crazies — or at least what was left of them, with the Duke students on winter break. She was four points shy of the career high she matched last month against Oregon.
And every time Duke threatened to make a run, the Huskies found a way to get Mosqueda-Lewis a clean look from behind the 3-point line. She showed no signs of rust after missing eight games with a nerve contusion on her right elbow.
The Blue Devils, who spent the second half trying to claw their way back into the game, pulled to 65-52 on Elizabeth Williams’ layup with just under 8 minutes left.
After a timeout, UConn worked the ball around the perimeter to Mosqueda-Lewis, who swished her fifth 3 to restore the Huskies’ 18-point lead and help them pull away for their 17th straight win.
Tricia Liston and Alexis Jones each finished with 10 points for Duke, which was denied its first win over a No. 1 team since 2007 — and was in serious danger of being run right off its home floor in the first half.
Stewart scored 15 points in the half, and 12 of those came during the 13-minute span in which the Huskies outscored Duke 35-11 and turned a one-point deficit into a 38-15 lead.
For the Blue Devils, this one couldn’t have started much worse. They missed 12 consecutive shots during that drought before things finally started to click late in the half behind Gray.
She reeled off six straight points before Chloe Wells’ 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the half pulled Duke to 41-26.