Geno Auriemma knows a lot of people and, of course, has many friends in the coaching ranks. He also knows to schedule games against teams which he believes are NCAA Tournament contenders.
Auriemma and the UConn women's basketball team are visiting another one of Auriemma's close friends. On Monday night the Huskies visited UT-Chattanooga, which is coached by Jim Foster, who gave Auriemma his first coaching job at a high school in Philadelphia back in the 1970s.
The Huskies cruised to victory in a sold-out gym, 79-31. It was a somewhat close game in the first half, but UConn simply wore down the Mocs defensively, holding them to eight total points in the second half. The Huskies closed the game on a 42-5 run.
Stewart finished with four blocks and now has 302 for her career. She is six assists away from becoming the first Division 1 player to have over 300 blocks and 300 assists.
Tonight, top-ranked UConn (4-0) will visit No. 23 DePaul in Chicago. The Blue Demons' head coach, Doug Bruno, is a top assistant on Auriemma's Team USA coaching staff.
DePaul (5-1) has taken hold of the Big East crown in the two seasons following the separation. They play in a small gym which UConn has visited four times, all Husky wins. UConn won the last meeting between these two teams, 98-64, last season in Bridgeport.
While Chattanooga was a defensive-minded team which played a slow and methodical offense, DePaul typically likes to run the court and play in transition. The pace of this game should play into the Huskies' hands.
The Blue Demons are led by Megan Podkowa, who averages just under 16 points and about 8 rebounds per game.
UConn's next game will be the highly-anticipated rematch of last year's national championship, where the Huskies will host Notre Dame at 5:15 p.m.