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Bria Hartley, Tiffany Hayes help No. 3 UConn bounce back

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut guard Bria Hartley just
wanted to have fun again.

Hartley and Tiffany Hayes each scored 19 points and No. 3 UConn
bounced back from its loss to Notre Dame with a 96-35 rout of
Providence on Tuesday night.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 13 points, eight rebounds and six
assists and Stefanie Dolson added 12 points for the Huskies (13-2,
3-1 Big East), who extended their home-court winning streak to 94
consecutive games.

"Everyone is really excited with the way we played tonight,"
said Hartley, who hit all seven of her shots. "It just makes the
game fun again. You don't want to go into games like Notre Dame
where you should have won, or you could have done something
differently to win that game. But you come out here tonight and you
know you played really hard and you left everything out on the
floor."

Lauren Okafor scored eight points to lead Providence (9-8, 1-3
Big East), which was coming off an upset of DePaul (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP).

The win was UConn's 168th in a row against an unranked opponent,
a streak that dates back to 1999. The Huskies haven't lost at home
to a team outside the Top 25 since March 1993 -- a span of 259
games. That was the same year the Huskies last lost back-to-back
games in the Big East.

UConn shot 65 percent from the field while holding the Friars to
15 baskets on 50 attempts. The Huskies had 29 assists on their 36
baskets. All 11 players scored.

"It was one of those wins where your team feels really good
about the win because everybody had a hand in it," said UConn
coach Geno Auriemma.

The game was sloppy early, as the teams combined for 13
turnovers in the first 10 minutes. The Huskies, who turned the ball
over 27 times in their loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, had five of
those.

But UConn made eight of its first 11 shots. Hartley had 15
points at the break, and played just seven minutes in the second
half.

A give-and-go layup from Kelly Faris to Hartley made it 41-13,
part of a 21-4 run that broke the game open. The Huskies led 48-17
at halftime.

Hayes took over the scoring burden from there, scoring 13 points
after intermission. She hit six of her eight shots and her
3-pointer put the Huskies up 63-23 less than five minutes into the
second half.

"This was definitely something we needed," said Hayes. "This
is going to help us in the future because it's a confidence
booster."

The win was UConn's 27th in a row over Providence, which was
hoping to give the Huskies a good game after beating DePaul 60-52
on Saturday. That was the Friars' first over a ranked opponent since
they beat Pittsburgh three years ago.

Providence hasn't beaten Connecticut since March 7, 1993 in the
semifinals of the conference tournament.

"They play at a different speed that's almost like men," said
Providence coach Phil Seymour. "The way they run the floor, the
way they push the ball, the way they execute, it's different and
there's not a lot of teams that's like that."

Teya Wright, who came in averaging over 14 points and just under
11 rebounds a game, had just six points and four rebounds in this
one.

Hartley has scored in double figures in six consecutive games.
She has scored over 20 points three times, but wasn't in the game
long enough to extend that to four.

The loss to Notre Dame ended UConn's 57-game conference winning
streak. But the Huskies have been good at bouncing back. They
haven't lost two in a row in the Big East since falling to
Providence and Louisville in March of 1993.

They are 47-0 after a loss since then, and Auriemma said he was
pleased with the way his team was able to bounce back.

"They were concerned about my job," he joked. "So, I
appreciate that."