- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut had just six scholarship players healthy enough to play against South Florida. That’s all the Huskies needed.

Breanna Stewart tied a career high with 29 points and Bria Hartley added 26 as the top-ranked Huskies beat South Florida 81-53 on Sunday.

Hartley hit six of her seven shots from 3-point range in putting up 20 or more points for the third consecutive game. Stewart made five 3-pointers and the Huskies (21-0, 8-0 American Athletic Conference) were 14 of 25 from behind the arc, making 10 of their first 11.

“The shots were falling and everything was good and we were like, ‘All right, we’ll just shoot 3s the rest of the game,” Stewart said. “Then they stopped going in for a little bit. But getting that inside, outside awareness really makes our team difficult to guard.”

Courtney Williams had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead South Florida (10-9, 5-3), which had won five of its last six games.

“The way (UConn) shot the ball tonight, no one in the country had a shot to beat them,” said South Florida coach Jose Fernandez. “Let me tell you right now, if Connecticut plays their best and anybody in the country plays their best, (the Huskies) are going to win.”

The win was the 27th in a row for the Huskies, dating back to last season’s NCAA tournament run to the program’s eighth national championship.

Connecticut struggled early, hitting just three of its first 12 shots from the field. The Huskies have not trailed by more than four points all season, but an Alisia Jenkins’ fast-break layup gave South Florida a 9-6 lead.

A 3-pointer by Stewart put the UConn on top 14-13 just under 7 minutes into the game and they led the rest of the way.

Another Stewart 3-pointer started a 16-3 run that turned a 22-20 game into a 38-23 lead.

Stewart and Hartley combined to hit 8 of 11 shots from 3-point range in the first half and UConn went into the break leading 45-27. The Huskies have trailed by a total of 31 minutes this season.

UConn had 30 field goals on 25 assists.

“We really try to get those people who are hitting shots the ball more, and we did that today,” said Hartley who had six of those assists. “It was just really exciting.”

A 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer gave the Huskies their first lead of more than 20-points at 59-37 midway through the second half. The Bulls had been holding opponents to just 59 points a game.

Connecticut’s 27-game winning streak is the sixth longest streak in program history.

Story Continues →