7:30 PM ET, January 4, 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Midway through the season, Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma likes what he sees from Ann Strother.The rangy senior forward has scored in double figures in all but one game, is rebounding better, is more aggressive on defense and playing with a sense of urgency.On Wednesday night, Strother scored 19 of her 23 points in the first half as No. 7 Connecticut cruised to an 80-38 win over Georgetown."Ann Strother is as good as any player in the country when it comes to finding ways to score points," Auriemma said. "I don't know that anybody's playing better than her anywhere from what I can see."Strother exploited the Hoyas' 2-3 zone and finished with five 3-pointers that included three in a 19-0 run midway through the first half to break the game open."I found some openings tonight," she said.She moved ahead of three former players, including assistant coach Jamelle Elliot and Tamika Williams, and into a tie for No. 14 on Connecticut's all-time scoring list with 1,409 points."It's an honor, but other than that I don't really pay attention to it," Strother said. "I came here to be a part of a winning team and a winning tradition. I'm definitely happy. The hardest thing about being a senior is knowing it's going to end. That's something you don't even want to think about."It was the sixth straight win for the Huskies (12-1, 2-0 Big East) and the final tuneup before they visit top-ranked Tennessee on Saturday.Georgetown (7-5, 0-1), which dressed just seven players, couldn't match UConn's speed and depth and saw its three-game winning streak end. The Huskies shot 53 percent in the first half and led 40-16 at the break.Strother also dominated inside, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. The Huskies finished with a 41-27 edge on the boards and outscored Georgetown 42-14 in the paint. Mel Thomas added 16 points for UConn and Nicole Wolff finished with 11.Kieraah Marlow led the Hoyas with 20 points and Katrina Wheeler finished with six rebounds. The pair combined for four of Georgetown's five blocked shots.The UConn transition game accounted for 18 points and the Huskies scored 31 off Georgetown turnovers. The Hoyas shot 25 percent for the game."When you shoot 20-something percent, you're not going to beat anybody," Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "And giving 31 points off turnovers, you're just not going to win games like that."The Huskies have won 17 straight conference home openers.They move out of the conference Saturday for their annual meeting with the archrival Lady Vols. Auriemma is hopeful the Huskies can build off the effort and energy they exhibited against the Hoyas."It certainly makes you feel better than if you had a lousy effort, but going down there and playing in that environment is a game in and of itself," Auriemma said. "What you've done before really doesn't matter that much. We're 2-0 in the league and Saturday's game is a game you play because everybody loves to watch it and be a part of it."I'd rather try to win the league than win at Tennessee and lose the next two conference games," he said.
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