UConn sets record behind stifling D
Huskies limit K-State to NCAA tournament record-low 26 points
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Bria Hartley scored 13 of her 16 points in the first half and top-seeded Connecticut held Kansas State to an NCAA tournament record low for points in a game in a 72-26 second-round rout on Monday night.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 15 points and Kiah Stokes had a career-high 13 for UConn. With the victory the Huskies advance to the round of 16 for the 19th consecutive season.
Eighth-seeded Kansas State (20-14) was trying to make it that far for the first time since 2002. The Wildcats were no match for the Huskies, unable to surpass the 27 points that Southern scored against Duke in 2006.
Brittany Chambers scored 11 points to lead the Wildcats, who went 11 minutes in the first half without a point.
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After taking a 3-2 lead 34 seconds in, the Wildcats missed 18 consecutive shots over the next 11:17. By the time Jalana Childs put back a miss, they trailed 19-5 with 8:09 left. They could never recover.
Even when Kansas State did something right, it went wrong. Twice the Wildcats had steals at midcourt that would have led to easy layups, but UConn (31-4) was whistled for fouls. Both times Kansas State took the ball out on the side and was unable to convert the turnovers into baskets.
A pull-up jumper from the free throw line by Chambers gave the Wildcats 10 points just before halftime and helped Kansas State avoid tying Prairie View for the lowest-scoring first half in the history of the NCAA tournament. The 16th-seeded Lady Panthers did that last season against Brittney Griner and top-seed Baylor.
UConn, which leads the nation in scoring defense at just under 46 points per game and field goal percentage defense (30.0), was converting Kansas State’s misses into easy baskets.
Hartley and Mosqueda-Lewis outscored the Wildcats in the first half. Mosqueda-Lewis, who matched the UConn record with 21 points in her NCAA debut, fell just five short of the school’s two-game mark held by Maya Moore.
The Huskies led 38-10 at the half, as the Wildcats missed 27 of their 31 shots.
It didn’t get much better in the second half for Kansas State. UConn built its lead up to 46. The only question in the last few minutes was whether the Wildcats would avoid the mark for futility set by Southern.
A late basket by Emma Ostermann gave Kansas State 26 points. They had a few chances for more, but couldn’t come up with another point.
It was the 17th time this season that the Huskies held an opponent under 40 points.
The Wildcats survived a tough test from Princeton in the opening round Saturday, beating the Tigers 67-64. They were playing the Huskies for the first time despite being in UConn’s region of the NCAAs five times in the last 11 years.
Before the game, Kansas State coach Deb Patterson said she was impressed by UConn’s defense after watching them against Prairie View in the opener. The Huskies held the Lady Panthers to just 15 points in the second half of that 83-47 victory. They continued that stellar effort against the Wildcats.
With that win against the Lady Panthers, UConn surpassed the 30-victory mark for the seventh season in a row, matching the Division I record set by Duke from 2001-07.