No. 2 UConn trounces Wake Forest in opener

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ST. THOMAS - Five University of Connecticut players scored in double figures, and the women Huskies forced overmatched Wake Forest into 24 turnovers en route to a 95-34 win Thursday at the Paradise Jam.

The No. 2 Huskies (3-0) scored at will and spread the ball to 10 different players on their way to a tournament record for most points scored in a single game.

"I thought our defensive intensity was really good for the entire game," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We forced a lot of bad shots. I don't know that we did a great job in the first half of rebounding the ball, but we forced a lot of bad shots.

"I thought we got out in transition really well to start the game, which is something we spent that last two-day working on."

Freshman forward Breanna Stewart led UConn with 20 points, sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and freshman reserve Morgan Tuck scored 16 each, and sophomore reserve Brianna Banks tallied 12. Junior center Stefanie Dolson had 11.

"I think we share the ball really well," Stewart said. "We're always looking to make the best play we can and looking for the open person. We just all have that mentality, and I think it works really well."

UConn jumped out to a 12-0 lead in less than four minutes, pressuring Wake Forest in the front court and forcing the Demon Deacons into 12 first half turnovers. Wake Forest looked helpless in transition, as the bigger and stronger Huskies raced by and found slashing players in uncontested scoring positions.

"They're very good," Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover said. "I don't know what you do necessarily to slow 'em down. They score in such a variety of ways. I think you've got to be physical with them, and you've got to be able to contest shots, but we talked about it all week. I think they can play the game without air in the basketball because they're such a great passing team."

UConn went up 30-9 on a nifty play by Banks. The sophomore faked a behind-the-back pass and drove baseline through three Deacons for a tough layup. Wake Forest looked lost on that play and many others. UConn shot a stellar 70 percent and got 41 points from its bench.

"We're not necessarily trying to get any specific people minutes, but trying to just make sure that everybody has an opportunity to show what they got," Auriemma said.

Wake Forest shot just 4-for-32 in the first half and went more than seven minutes without scoring until senior center Sandra Garcia and junior guard Chelsea Douglas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half.

Senior forward Asia Williams led the Deacons with 10 points.

UConn plays Marist College at 9:15 tonight and Wake Forest plays Purdue at 7 p.m.

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