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Huskies cruise past Hartford, improve to 8-0

STORRS, Conn. -- Maya Moore can play both guard and forward, and Connecticut's star showed Hartford she's not a bad center either.

The reigning national player of the year scored 22 points and top-ranked Connecticut cruised to an 80-45 victory over Hartford on Thursday, extending its winning streak to 47 games.

The 6-foot junior passed Swin Cash into 12th place on the school's scoring list with a 3-pointer six minutes into the second half. She also had eight rebounds, six assists and four steals while playing just 25 minutes.

Much of her time in the first half came at center after Tina Charles and Kaili McClaren each picked up two early fouls.

"Against like Hartford you can get away with it, because they're not overly big," coach Geno Auriemma said. "Moving forward, against some other teams, we can't afford to have people in foul trouble. But it gives you an opportunity to try things out, too, which I don't mind.

Caroline Doty had 13 points, Tiffany Hayes had 12 and Charles added 10 points for the Huskies (8-0).

Diana Delva led Hartford with 13 points. The Hawks, (6-2) coached by former UConn point guard Jen Rizzotti, beat a ranked Louisville team earlier this season and its only other loss came to Providence.

The Huskies are 11-0 against the Hawks and have beaten them by an average of 26 points in each game.

"It's hard for me to walk into a game knowing that it's really, really hard for us to win," said Rizzotti. "Because there's really very few other games in the last five years that I've coached in, where I can say I've felt that way, even the NCAA tournament."

Auriemma's teams are 25-0 against in-state competition.

The Huskies used a stifling defense to jump out to a 19-4 lead. Hartford had seven shots from the floor in the first seven minutes and missed them all. The Hawks also had seven early turnovers, while UConn had six offensive rebounds.

"I was really proud of the way we came out tonight," Moore said. "That has always been the key ever since I've been here. If you can start the game strong defensively, it will set the tone for the rest of the game."

Ruthanne Doherty made Hartford's first field goal almost 7½ minutes into the game. The Hawks shot just 35 percent from the floor.

Moore had 15 points and six rebounds at halftime, and UConn led 44-16.

UConn scored the first seven points of the second half, and Rizzotti picked up a technical foul.

The Hawks responded with an 11-4 run but never challenged the Huskies, who quickly built the lead back to 30 at 59-29.

UConn has not won a game this season by fewer than 25 points. Its 47 game winning streak is the third longest in the history of Division I women's basketball.

Erica Beverly had four rebounds for Hartford, becoming the school's all-time leading rebounder.

Charles left the game 3½ minutes into the second half when Beverly blocked a shot that hit her in the mouth. She did not return.

This was the fifth game of a seven-game Huskies homestand, including a Dec. 20 game against Iona, before a much anticipated showdown with No. 2 Stanford on Dec. 23.

"It's already a no-win situation," Auriemma said. "They are playing two really good teams, or three really good teams maybe before us. So they'll be worn out if we [beat] them. If they beat us, it's because we were poorly prepared by our schedule."