Huskies' Charles doubles-up Colgate in 44-point romp

STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut freshman Tina Charles outbattled teammate Brittany Hunter for a T-shirt thrown into the stands last week during a Connecticut men's basketball game.

On Thursday night, she outbattled everyone on the court, scoring 18 points and grabbing 17 rebounds as No. 8 Connecticut routed Colgate 81-37.

Hunter added 12 points and 10 rebounds, the second double-double of her UConn career.

"It was harder to get the T-shirt," Hunter said. "I don't know if anyone has a perception of how really good (Tina) can be."

They got an idea on Thursday. Charles dominated the Red Raiders (1-2) and had 15 points and 11 rebounds at halftime, after scoring just five points in the season-opener against Richmond on Monday.

"I just came out trying to prove something," she said. "The first game I had a little jitters, so I just came out and played my game."

Mel Thomas added 15 points for Connecticut (2-0), and Renee Montgomery had 12.

Colgate led early 4-2, but then went five minutes without a basket. UConn scored 14 during that stretch. The final two came after Ketia Swanier missed a foul shot, and Charles scored on a put-back during a sequence in which she had three rebounds and the Huskies had four shots at the basket.

"It's only her second college game, so to expect her to have the kind of night like she had tonight every single night this early in her career is probably unrealistic," coach Geno Auriemma said. "She is determined to be a really good player and her goal is to get a double-double every night."

UConn added another 14-0 run late in the first half, and led 49-17 at intermission.

Colgate scored the first five points of the second half, before UConn went to work again, going on a 24-2 run. They led 73-24 at the 7:32 mark, before Caitlin Gillard hit a free throw.

Gillard who came into the game averaging over 18 points and 11 rebounds per game, was held to just that one point.

"The UConn post players were quite a bit stronger than ours," said Colgate coach Kristin Hughes. "I thought we got pushed around a little bit and we lost position as a result."

Junior guard Melanie Cargle led Colgate with 18 points, but the Raiders shot just 22 percent from the field.

Connecticut dominated inside, outrebounding the Red Raiders 61-36.

"This team plays pretty hard on the defense end. They enjoy creating some offense off of our defense," Auriemma said. "I thought if we had kept our foot on the gas it could have been 130, but that's not the point of the game."

Hunter who has torn cartilage in her surgically repaired right knee, played 11 minutes.

"It feels OK. I wouldn't say it feels great," she said. "It's going to be OK for the rest of the season. If there is any surgery that needs to be done, I'll just take care of it afterward, when I have down time."

UConn leaves Saturday for a seven-day road trip to Italy where Auriemma will be honored in his hometown of Montella. The Huskies also will play a pair of exhibitions games against Italian League teams in Naples and Viterbo. The last time the team traveled to Italy was the summer before their 2000 national championship.

"Every time we've gone over there we've come back a better team, a stronger team, a much closer team," Auriemma said.

The Huskies don't play again in the U.S. until Nov. 28 when they host Boston University.

This was only the third meeting between the two schools, and the first since 1993. Connecticut has won all three.