UConn women rout Idaho in NCAA Tournament
STORRS, Conn. — Connecticut has its swagger back.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led six UConn players in double figures, and the top-seeded Huskies routed Idaho, 105-37, Saturday in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
The win follows two losses to Notre Dame this month that left the Huskies without Big East regular-season or tournament titles for the first time in 20 years.
‘‘I wanted them to understand that this was the beginning of our third season,’’ coach Geno Auriemma said. ‘‘Let’s put everything behind us. And I think we did.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 22 points, all in the first half. Morgan Tuck had 18, Moriah Jefferson chipped in 16, and Kiah Stokes scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Huskies (30-4) advanced to the second round for the 20th straight time in their 25th consecutive tournament appearance.
‘‘Today was perfect for getting our legs back, our momentum, our confidence,’’ said center Stefanie Dolson (10 points). ‘‘Having everyone be a part of it was definitely a good start.’’
The Huskies will play eighth-seeded Vanderbilt on Monday.
Stacey Barr had 14 points for Idaho (17-16), which was playing its second NCAA Tournament game ever after upsetting Seattle for the Western Athletic Conference title.
UConn led by as many as 74 in the second half before Idaho made five 3-pointers in the last four minutes, four by Barr.
That kept the Huskies from setting a record for biggest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game. That mark belongs to Tennessee, which beat North Carolina A&T by 74 points in 1994.
UConn had first-round wins of 71 points over Hampton in 2000 and 72 against Long Island in 2001.
Connecticut put this one away early, opening the game with a 22-3 run and holding Idaho without a basket for more than five minutes.
The Huskies led at the break, 58-17, and it didn’t get better for the Vandals after halftime. UConn stretched the lead to 69-17 on a 3-pointer by Kelly Faris. Stokes’s jumper with more than 12 minutes to go made it 78-18. The Vandals scored their first point of the second half on a free throw with 12:31 left.