The UConn women's basketball team met its first challenge of this young season tonight on the road against No. 23 DePaul, ultimately pulling away for the victory, 86-70.
The Blue Demons' game plan involved pressing UConn, subbing players out regularly and in waves, and making three-pointers. It was the first true test for the Huskies.
In the end, No. 1 UConn prevailed 86-70 over the Blue Demons in front of nearly 3,000 fans in Chicago. Breanna Stewart played the entire game except for the closing seconds, scoring a game-high 29 points and adding 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals. She made sure there would be no upset tonight.
Three other Huskies (5-0) scored in double figures - Morgan Tuck (16 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists), Kia Nurse (10 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists), and freshman Katie Lou Samuelson (10 points on 4-for-6 shooting) off the bench. Moriah Jefferson had a balanced game with nine points and nine assists.
UConn shot 50% for the game and won the battle of the boards 47-27.
DePaul (5-2) stayed in this game by hitting 13 three-pointers. They were led by 18 points from Jessica January.
The Blue Demons battled UConn throughout the first half, with the Huskies only leading 26-22 at the end of the first quarter. DePaul closed in across the second quarter to take a three-point deficit into halftime, hitting nine threes during the first half to keep within striking distance.
Unfortunately for DePaul they stopped making shots in the second half and UConn was able to build a double-digit lead early in the third quarter which it held onto across the balance of the game.
Next up for the Huskies is their first game at Gampel Pavilion at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday. They will host No. 3 Notre Dame in a rematch of last season's national championship game. The game is a part of the Jimmy V Classic and it is Notre Dame's first trip to Storrs since February 2011.