Women’s Basketball: Stewart exorcises Blue Demons on the road

Connecticut's Saniya Chong (12), Gabby Williams (15), and Napheesa Coller (24), celebrate during the final seconds of a basketball game against DePaul, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in Chicago. Connecticut won 86-70. (Paul Beaty/AP)

For 20 minutes, No. 23 DePaul came closer than any team has this season in taking down the UConn women’s basketball team.

However, the Blue Demons simply had no answer for Breanna Stewart in the second half, who torched DePaul for 29 points and 12 rebounds en route to an 86-70 win on the road. The senior forward scored 13 of her points in the final half to help the Huskies (5-0) to their third road win of the season.

After opening up the game with back-to-back steals and layups to go up 4-0, UConn and DePaul (5-2) continued to go neck-and-neck for most of the first quarter, with the Huskies finishing the quarter up 26-22.

The Blue Demons would cut the lead to three at the half, outscoring the Huskies 19-18 in the second quarter to head into the locker room down 44-41. DePaul managed to tie the game with 5:33 left in the half, but the Huskies finished the half on a 9-6 run to regain the lead. The Blue Demons nearly tied it up on a three-point play in the paint with 2.9 seconds left, but Moriah Jefferson stepped into take a charge and preserve UConn’s three-point lead.

DePaul finished the half shooting 48.3 percent from the field, including 9-17 from three. Jessica January led the Blue Demons at the half with 11 points on 50 percent shooting and would finish the game as DePaul’s leading scorer with 18 points.

Chanise Jenkins and Brooke Schulte also finished in double figures for DePaul, scoring 10 and 12 each. The Blue Demons would finish the night shooting 41.3 percent from the field and made 13 total three pointers, the most UConn has allowed this season.

UConn began to pull away right out of the gate in second half, going on a 9-0 run within the first two minutes. DePaul would manage to cut the deficit to five in the fourth quarter, but the Huskies finished the game on a 21-10 run to seal the deal and outscored the Blue Demons 42-29 in the second half. Overall, the Huskies dominated the glass, outrebounding DePaul 47-27 thanks in part to Stewart, Tuck and Gabby Williams, who scored six points and added eight rebounds.

Katie Lou Samuelson and Kia Nurse each added 10 points for the Huskies, and Morgan Tuck finished second behind Stewart in scoring with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jefferson fell just short of a double-double with nine points and nine assists.

The 16-point margin of victory was the closest win the Huskies have had since a 10-point victory over Notre Dame in last season’s national championship game. UConn takes on the Fighting Irish in their next game, a sold-out home matchup at Gampel Pavilion Dec. 5 at 5:15 p.m.


Dan Madigan is associate sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.madigan@uconn.edu. He tweets @dmad1433.