Hartford, CT -- The UConn Huskies trailed for only four minutes in the first quarter as they hand the Nebraska Cornhuskers their first loss of the season, 88-46. The Huskies improve to 3-0 on the season, and have now won 40 straight contests dating back to last year.
Breanna Stewart led UConn, scoring 18 of her 25 points in the first half, while also grabbing ten rebounds. Behind Stewart, the Huskies went on a 11-0 run to start the second quarter and never looked back. Stewart did not miss in the first half, making all seven shots she attempted.
"I was being confident and I felt that I was getting shots from all over, and they were going in," Stewart said. "It was fun. Confidence is really high right now, but I've also gotten better as a player from last year to this year. I'm shooting the ball better. It was a little suspect at times last year, so that helps."
Morgan Tuck filled the stat sheet, recording nine points, five assists and four rebounds. Moriah Jefferson added seven points of her own in UConn's win. Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson scored 14 points, which is double what she scored in her first two games combined.
"I think the last two games, I did focus on shooting a lot and kind of limited myself by doing that," Samuelson said. "This game I think I finally got into a rhythm because I was doing other things. Coach does do a really good job of letting me know when I'm just focusing on shooting and they're not going in. He challenges me to do other things, which is really good for me because I don't want to limit myself to be just a three point shooter."
The Huskies led by 16 at the half, and that would only grow in the final two quarters. The Huskies dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Cornhuskers by 17 points in the quarter.
Nebraska falls to 4-1, after winning their first four games by average of 47 points per game. The Cornhuskers have now lost both of their match-ups against the Huskies in program history.
Rachel Theriot led the Nebraska with 12 points and six assists. Freshman Jessica Sheppard was held to ten points and five rebounds, after averaging 23 points and nearly ten rebounds a game so far this season.
"(Sheppard's) not easy to guard," UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma said. "That's obvious, but again that's where (Stewart) has made a lot of progress, and that's where its comforting to know we got someone protecting the basket back there that can make it difficult.
"(Nebraska's) pretty patient, and they wait for their opportunities to get her the ball in the post, and (Sheppard's) really skilled. I can imagine going out there next year without (Stewart). It's not going to be a lot of fun."
Before that time comes when Auriemma no longer has Stewart to rely on, he says Stewart continues to find ways to improve in her final season as a Husky.
"There were a lot of times in the past couple seasons where the game was too fast for Stewart," Auriemma said. "Now you watch her and there's this really deliberate way she goes about what she wants to do. She comes from different spots on floor to do what she wants and it's on both ends of the floor.
"She's averaging 24 or 25 points a game, and she's getting smarter everyday. This is only game three, and there's going to be a lot more opportunities for her to grow and get better."