FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Even in a 61-point win, UConn coach Geno Auriemma cane find things to get on his team about.
Turnovers, particularly at the start were something he'll be sure to get on his No. 3 Huskies about after the 85-24 win over College of Charleston on Friday night in the Gulf Coast Showcase.
UConn had turnovers on their first three possessions and 23 for the game. But once they got it going, they looked very much like the two-time defending national champions. And College of Charleston was in for a long night.
''It's a fine line,'' Auriemma said. ''If you're afraid to turn the ball over, you're afraid to take a chance on passing to a wide-open teammate. Early in the season is when turnovers are a problem. Kia (Nurse) is a freshman and Morgan Tuck didn't play much last year. We had two new players handling the ball. We're not gonna turn the ball over 23 times tomorrow.''"
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 points and Morgan Tuck added 15 for the Huskies (3-1), who will play Vanderbilt (5-0) on Saturday in the winners' bracket semifinals. The Commodores beat Minnesota 71-54. Wisconsin-Green Bay, a 71-50 winner over Georgia Tech; and Arizona State, which rallied to beat Villanova 51-46, will meet in the other winners' bracket semifinal in Southwest Florida.
Auriemma joked that Germain Arena, used more as a hockey arena, was a bit nippy. ''Maybe it's the weather,'' he said. ''We haven't played in the Great Alaska Shootout in awhile. We should've played outdoors this afternoon. It was a little chilly in here.''
He didn't want to use it as an excuse but he said if given a choice, players would prefer a steamy arena to a cooler one.
Gabby Williams said turnovers ''Was the first thing he talked about. We were pushing the pace faster than usual.''
Tuck added, ''We were going 100 mph.''
It wasn't long before College of Charleston made mistakes that led to Huskies' layups. After shaking off the rough start, UConn took an 8-0 lead. A 16-0 run turned a 16-7 margin to 32-7. A 15-4 run put it up 47-11. The Huskies led at halftime 50-13.
UConn scored the first 17 points of the second half. College of Charleston didn't score until 13:24 remained. The Cougars shot just 16.4 percent (10-of-61).
Erin Hall led College of Charleston (0-5) with 11 points.
''UConn basketball was built on defense,'' Tuck said. ''Offense just comes. Offense isn't the main focus. If you play good defense and don't let people score, there's no way that they can beat you.''
Tuck added that Mosqueda-Lewis, who made five 3-pointers and also had five steals and eight rebounds, adds a lot of energy.
''When she does that, we're better as a team,'' Tuck said. ''When she's out playing defense and getting steals and rebounds, that builds a lot of confidence.''
Last season, UConn capped a 40-0 season by beating Notre Dame 79-58 in the national championship game for its eighth title this century. The others came in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2013.
College of Charleston: Made just 6 of 28 shots in the first half and 10 of 61 for the game (16 percent).
UConn: Finished with a 59-30 advantage on the boards.
UConn faces Vanderbilt, a 71-54 winner over Minnesota in the winners' bracket semifinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
College of Charleston will play Minnesota in the losers' bracket semis.
With one more national championship UConn coach Geno Auriemma will match UCLA's John Wooden for most national championships by an NCAA Division I coach with 10. Auriemma said he met Wooden before the Wizard of Westwood died in 2010 at 99. ''I never envisioned it being that comparable ... what he did and what has transpired here,'' Auriemma said. ''I'm not affected one way or another by this idea of winning a 10th national championship. Coach Wooden won 10 national championships because he coached a lot of great players and I've won nine because I've coached a lot of great players. So, you know what, maybe he and I are a lot alike.''
CHASING NCAA TOURNAMENT
While the Huskies have won nine national titles and been to 15 Final Fours, College of Charleston has yet to make an NCAA Tournament or Women's NIT.