7:00 PM ET, February 15, 2006
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut had size and speed on its side and made the most of both against Providence.Barbara Turner had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Huskies (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) to an 84-58 win over the Friars on Wednesday night."We knew coming into the game we had some advantages, obviously," Turner said. "It was just important to play like we wanted to play and not worry about matchups or anything like that."With her strong baseline moves, Turner was a handful for any defender. She reached double figures in scoring for the seventh straight game despite leaving briefly with leg cramps in the first half.Turner and the Huskies set the tone early inside and gave the Friars few second chances at the basket. Charde Houston's consecutive baskets with 10:10 left in the first half capped a 23-6 opening run and the Huskies never let up.UConn (23-3, 11-1 Big East) finished with 20 points off the fastbreak and a season-high 46 points in the paint. Turner and Willnett Crockett combined for 16 first-half rebounds and helped get UConn's transition game rolling.Freshman Chelsea Marandola led the Friars with a career-high 24 points.The Friars (8-16, 3-10), under first-year head coach Phil Seymore, are having one of their better seasons in recent years. They've already won more conference games this season than they had the past three years, snapping a 39-game winless streak in the league. But against UConn, not much had changed.The Huskies have beaten the Friars in 21 straight games by an average of nearly 40 points a game. UConn's last loss against PC was on the road in 1993."We're playing more as a team. We really didn't do it today because we were outmanned," Seymore said. "I don't think that in the past there really was a team, they were kind of separate."Ann Strother, Ketia Swanier, Houston and Kalana Greene scored 10 points apiece for UConn. Crockett finished with eight boards as the Huskies outrebounded the Friars 40-32. Twenty-nine of those boards were on the defensive end.Shauna Snyder had 12 points for the Friars.Providence managed just four field goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. Marandola scored the first five points in a 13-7 run in the final minutes, but the Friars had too much ground to makeup and trailed 41-22 at the break.The Friars would get within 13 with 11:40 to play on Catherine Bove's layup, but UConn quickly countered with an 8-0 run over the next two minutes and cruised the rest of the way."This game was indicative of our level of talent versus theirs," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We started the game exactly the way I wanted to."