7:00 PM ET, December 1, 2005
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- There was more stop than go in Connecticut's 72-47 win over Hartford on Thursday in a game laden with 36 fouls and 39 turnovers.Barbara Turner stayed steady through it all and had season highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Huskies (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP)."It was a knock-around physical type of game," Turner said. "We just have to stop fouling. The whistles were blowing for a reason. There's no excuse. The officiating doesn't control it. We do."The Hawks (4-1) shot just 29 percent for the game and struggled at the free-throw line, hitting 8-of-19.Mary Lynne Schaefer led Hartford with 11 points and Erica Beverly grabbed 11 rebounds. The game featured the second head-to-head meeting between Huskies coach Geno Auriemma and former UConn All-America guard Jennifer Rizzotti, the Hawks' coach.Rizzotti's introduction drew the loudest ovation from the 12,871 at the Hartford Civic Center. She was the scrappy guard who in 1995 helped lead UConn (6-0) to the first of its five NCAA titles. Like her mentor, Rizzotti, now in her seventh year on the Hartford bench, has become the winningest coach at her school."She was the best I ever coached at getting under people's skins and her team takes on her personality," Auriemma said. "They don't back down. They keep coming after you. But I wouldn't expect anything less from Jen."After the opening tip, however, the crowd was clearly a partisan UConn one. It wasn't treated to a particularly pretty game.The Huskies played a sloppy first half, plodding through a dozen turnovers in the period. Three UConn players had at least two fouls before the break, but the Hawks were unable to capitalize at the line, hitting just 1-of-9 free throws."There were some really good stretches where we competed, but when you miss eight free throws and several open shots in the first half, it's tough to go into the locker room," Rizzotti said. "There's a lot we can learn from the game, and the more games we can play like this the better we are going to get."Kalana Greene gave the Huskies a lift off the bench, hitting two straight buckets in an 11-0 run midway through the half. Turner dominated inside and had seven boards and 12 points in the half. Her 3-pointer in the final second sent UConn into the locker room with a 40-21 lead.Ann Strother, who played with three fouls for much of the game, scored all of her 12 points in the second half for UConn."The first half, I just, for whatever reason, wasn't looking to do what I needed to do," Strother said. "We ran our stuff a little better, too."Greene finished with 14 points, seven boards and a career-high three blocks. Mel Thomas added 11 points and had two steals for UConn.The Huskies were without Charde Houston, who was sidelined with an injured right foot and was averaging 12.6 points. She is listed as day-to-day as UConn prepares to take on speedy North Carolina (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) on Monday in Hartford."I think Monday night is going to be a real treat," Auriemma said. "We will probably see some things that we have never seen. Hopefully we will be healthy. Playing a team like Carolina gets your attention. I got to believe practice Saturday and Sunday will be really, really good."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||18-61 (.295)||28-67 (.418)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-18 (.167)||4-16 (.250)|
|FT Made-Attempted||8-19 (.421)||12-15 (.800)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||16 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|