November 29, 2014

ESTERO, Fla. (AP) With Breanna Stewart in early foul trouble, UConn found other players to step up and shoulder the offensive load.

Kia Nurse and Morgan Tuck each scored 16 points to lead No. 3 UConn to a 91-52 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

''I can't say enough about Morgan Tuck and Kia Nurse since they've been in lineup,'' Auriemma said. ''It's a different feel, so impressive.''

The 61- and 39-point wins over College of Charleston and Vanderbilt the past two days haven't been a challenge. Both were over before halftime as the Huskies now have won 53 straight regular-season tournament games.

''We got a lot accomplished today, that's what we wanted to do,'' Auriemma said. ''We got a lot of people involved offensively.''

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 14 points and Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson both had 12 while Kiah Stokes had seven blocks and seven rebounds to go with eight points.

''Coming off the Stanford game, you want to see more contributions from other people, more focus,'' Stewart said. ''We also wanted to raise our intensity and the past two games, we've really done that.''

Tuck added, ''We needed to help Stewie out there and not let her take all the beatings. I think it was really good Kia Nurse came out really good. We're hard to guard when certain people play like that.

''I think it also shows we have a lot of people who can score and play. That makes it difficult when you don't have to rely on one or two people.''

Next up for the Huskies is Wisconsin-Green Bay in the championship game.

''You know how Bob Seeger is a Midwest version of Bruce Springstein?'' Auriemma said. ''Well, Green Bay is a Midwest version of Villanova. We've played Villanova for 30 years and Green Bay has a lot of those qualities. Nobody on our staff is surprised they won. I want our players to be challenged. I'm looking forward to it.''

UConn took an early 7-0 lead. It was the fourth time this season Vanderbilt started slow - including a 17-2 deficit to Wisconsin - but the Commodores found a way to come back in those contests.

Not against the Huskies. The Commodores did stay with UConn for a while and trailed just 22-14 after a 3-pointer from Reed. But the Huskies' Jefferson hit a 3-pointer, stole the inbounds pass, then fed Nurse for a layup to quickly make it 27-14.

That started a 30-8 run and increased the lead to 52-22. The Huskies led 52-27 at halftime. They led by as much as 44 in the second half.

Auriemma said his team would have fewer turnovers than the 23 they had against College of Charleston. He was right. The Huskies had 14. They also forced 24 turnovers.

''There isn't much bad I can say about this game,'' Auriemma said.

TIP-INS:

Vanderbilt: In its first five games, the Commodores have had five different players be their leading scorer.

UConn: Until the 88-86 loss to Stanford, UConn hadn't lost a November game in 10 years.

SUSPENDED

Vanderbilt junior Heather Bowe won't be eligible until at least the end of this semester while serving a suspension for a violation of the university's academic policy.

QUOTABLE

Auriemma, when asked if he's made women's college basketball a better sport, he said that's best left to others to answer. He then went on to say, ''"We're acutely aware of UConn's impact on college basketball since 1995. We know within our building an in our world what we've done and the impact we've had since 1995, where TV is today.

''We're the most constant. Others have come and gone and some are just coming now.

''And I'm also aware we'll never get credit for certain segments of the women's basketball community. And I'm OK with that.''

NEXT GAME

Connecticut: vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay, championship, Gulf Coast Showcase

Vanderbilt: vs. Arizona State, third place, Gulf Coast Showcase

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