UConn never trails after opening with 11-0 run

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Even though Connecticut has a potent offense, the Huskies used their defense to stay unbeaten.

The No. 1 Huskies held Providence to 25.5 percent shooting and scored 32 points off 26 turnovers en route to a 75-39 win Wednesday night.

"I think the biggest thing about the constant success of our team is it comes down to our defense," Maya Moore said. "Your shot is one of those things that can leave you some times and you might have trouble shooting. But defense is something you can control and keep constant.

"As you saw in the second half, especially, our defense was really great."

The Huskies (26-0, 12-0 Big East), who led 39-18 at halftime, hit Providence (9-16, 3-9) with a 25-0 run to open the second half and built a lead as large as 40 points before the midway point.

Providence didn't score a second-half basket until 9:22 had expired when Chandler McCabe made a 3-point shot.

Moore led a quintet of Huskies in double figures with 16 points while Tiffany Hayes added 15.

McCabe led the Friars with eight points.

The Huskies opened the game with an 11-0 run and never trailed.

"I haven't seen them play a 1-3-1 [zone]," Providence coach Phil Seymore said. "They defended our guards where our ball control was a little weak so we had a hard time handing the basketball, especially in the beginning of the game. They got steals right away [altogether, Connecticut had 14 steals] and that set the tone.

"They're very athletic. They're long. If you've got height and strength and the athleticism to go with it, probably with the exception of a couple of their players they can guard on the perimeter and inside."

The Huskies, who are off to their best start since the 2002-03 season when they won their first 31 games, scored 36 points in the paint led by Tina Charles who had 14.

Connecticut, led by Hayes, held Providence's starting guards Trinity Hull and Chelsea Marandola to a combined 10 points.

"When practice started Oct. 15, [defense] wasn't part of her vocabulary," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. "She was like any other freshman coming into college. She didn't have the stamina to be able to guard people for extended periods of time. It was very difficult for her.

"She's not a very strong kid. But as her stamina has improved and as her understanding has improved, she takes great pride in that. She knows she can score but she wants to be better than that."