HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma decided to test his team this week.
After returning from a busy six-day trip to a tournament in the Virgin Islands, he ran the second-ranked Huskies hard for two days in practice, put in some new plays and had them press for most of the first half Thursday night against BYU.
The Huskies responded by scoring the first 23 points and routing the Cougars 80-34.
"I was trying to mentally get them worn out and see how they would respond," Auriemma said. "Because the trip was long, and they are tired. But when you get tired, your mind can either make you untired or more tired."
UConn looked anything but tired, especially on defense.
The Huskies held the Cougars (3-3) scoreless until Mallary Gillespie-Carling hit a short jumper almost 10 minutes into the game. BYU hit just 4-of-25 shots in the first half and trailed 42-11 at intermission. It was the fewest points Connecticut had allowed in a half since holding Providence to six in the first half of a a 71-24 win in 2005.
"That's not my team," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. "They were scared tonight for some reason. I know we're going to learn from this and get better. Sometimes you need to get kicked in the face to learn."
Freshman Maya Moore came off the bench to lead UConn with 17 points. She hit her first four shots and was 8-of-12 from the field, becoming the first Connecticut player to reach double figures in each of her first six starts. Tina Charles had her second double-double of the season, with 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Mel Thomas added 14 points, leaving her just five shy of 1,000 for her career.
Thomas acknowledged it was a bit of a challenge mentally to focus on BYU after victories over Stanford, Old Dominion and Duke at the Paradise Jam.
"I was just kind of depressed to be here; I wanted to be back on the beach again," she said. "I don't think it was that bad. I think we just kind of pushed through it and got back in the swing of things."
Shawnee Slade led BYU with 10 points.
UConn has held all six of its opponents to 54 points or less and five under 50. The Huskies held BYU to 26 percent shooting from the floor, and just 16 percent in the first half. UConn outrebounded the Cougars 51-30.
Judkins said that Connecticut's play in the post, especially the defense of Charles underneath, was the key to the blowout.
"Coach made it hard for us, just trying to test us and make sure we were able to just go," Charles said. "I thought we did a great job just going."
The Huskies didn't do everything well. UConn shot just 33 percent from the foul line and made almost as many 3-pointers (six) as free throws (eight).
UConn has won 19 consecutive regular-season games.