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Takeaways from UConn's blowout win over No. 25 DePaul

The UConn women's basketball team thrashed DePaul Friday night in Bridgeport, rolling over the 25th-ranked Blue Demons by 34 points. Brian Grindrod gives his takeaways from the win.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After Friday’s 98-64 thrashing by No. 2 UConn, DePaul coach Doug Bruno praised the Huskies. He proclaimed during his press conference that the 2015 NCAA championship runs through Storrs. Of course, Geno Auriemma disagreed.

Here are my thoughts:

  • UConn (7-1) came off a 13-day break and were playing in the state of Connecticut for the first time in nearly a month. No. 25 DePaul (7-4) was tied 24-24 with the Huskies for the first 7:25 of the game. The Blue Demons were hitting shot after shot and looked like they were going to make this a game. Unfortunately for them the Huskies changed up their defense, switching from man-to-man full court pressure to a 3-2 zone, and finished the half up 53-33 and ended any hopes of an upset.
  • When the game was on the line in the first half, Breanna Stewart came to play. The reigning National Player of the Year scored 21 points in the first half, en route to a game-high 25 points. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had a quiet 16 points, but had a game-high nine rebounds.
  • There is now a supporting cast developing. Kiah Stokes is a defensive force off the bench. In 18 minutes of play, she had eight rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Gabby Williams scored a career high 14 points and seven rebounds. Morgan Tuck is continuing to develop into a great player. Tuck finished with 14 points but only had one rebound in 20 minutes of play.
  • The backcourt of freshman Kia Nurse and junior Moriah Jefferson is continuing to mature. Nurse ended with 19 points, but attempted some ugly looking threes. Jefferson struggled again finishing with four points. The combined for three turnovers and assisted on 10 baskets.
  • For the second straight year, UConn played a regular season game at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. It is a really nice venue. The faculty workers at the XL Center and Gampel Pavilion should take note of the comfortable seats, the concourse area and the LED ribbon boards. I know the state has just dumped a ton of money into improving XL, but WBA may be still the best arena in state. Any future improvement of Gampel should look into these designs, too.
  • UConn did a great job making it a home court. You can tell UConn ran the show outside of the lack of any UConn logos on the court. Also, the game was played in front of 9,056 although the end zones and floor seats were empty. Technically it was a sellout since the arena holds 8,000. Many New Haven and Fairfield County fans, who usually do not want to travel to Hartford or Storrs, were able to make the short trip.
  • On a side note, if you plan on attending any UConn event (men’s basketball or hockey) or any event for that matter at WBA, take Metro North. It is more convenient than driving on I-95 and not dealing with the traffic nightmare in downtown Bridgeport. Also, it may be cheaper than the $20 parking fee in the parking lots. Even though there was a screw-up with Metro North last night after the game due to down wires and misinformation about track changes, it was still a better option than fighting the traffic in that parking garage.

Next up for the Huskies will be a regular season home game against UCLA at their fourth home court – Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. The game Sunday at 5 p.m. (ESPN2) and is part of the Naismith Women’s Basketball Holiday Showcase. UConn leads the series 2-0, and this is the first time the two teams will meet since Dec. 23, 1999, which was 106-64 win at Gampel.

The Bruins are 4-5 on the season, coming off a 71-52 win against Samford on Friday night in New Orleans. The Bruins feature a young team that includes last year’s top recruiting class. Four of the five losses were 10 points or less. Four of those losses were against teams that played in last year’s NCAA tournament: James Madison (91-87 OT), North Carolina (84-68), Texas (75-65) and Nebraska (71-66).