Stewart reaches 2,000 points as UConn beats KState 97-57
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Thirty years to the day after winning his first game as head coach of UConn, Geno Auriemma earned his 919th victory.
The top-ranked Huskies routed Kansas State 97-57 on Monday night for their 39th straight victory. UConn is seeking its 11th national title and fourth in a row.
''If I'd have known that 30 years ago, that's what was going to happen, I probably would have enjoyed it more the last 30 years, and said, `Yeah, I should really enjoy this because 30 years from now, our program is going to be legendary,''' Auriemma said.
Auriemma remembered that first game at Iona, traveling on the bus and pooling together the team's meal money so they could buy something more than sandwiches before the game.
Now the Huskies can afford to travel and eat a little bit better.
Breanna Stewart scored 25 points and Gabby Williams added 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Huskies.
Stewart became the ninth player in school history to reach 2,000 points with a 3-pointer from the right corner in the third quarter. She now has 2,009 for her career, moving past Renee Montgomery (1,990) and Bria Hartley (1,994).
Kaylee Page and Kindred Wesemann each had 11 to lead Kansas State (3-1).
The Huskies shot just under 51 percent from the floor and held Kansas State to 34 percent.
Morgan Tuck had 15 points and Moriah Jefferson had 14 points and seven assists.
Jefferson (1,102 points) also is moving up the scoring list, becoming the 37th Husky to reach the 1,100-point plateau.
Stewart moved into 10th place on the school's scoring list with her fourth point, a layup that gave the Huskies an early 12-5 lead. A third quarter free throw put her in ninth place.
''When you have these type of milestones, you kind of just want to get it over with, because people keep talking about it,'' Stewart said.
Kansas State's Breanna Lewis, who had been averaging 18 points and six rebounds, picked up two early fouls guarding Stewart. She finished with 10 points.
The Wildcats hit three of their first five shots from 3-point range and hung with the Huskies early, trailing just 16-13 with 3:24 left in the first quarter.
''I think we challenged at times,'' said Kansas State coach Jeff Mittie. ''We battled harder than we had in our previous three games. You're going up against the team that is playing at the highest level in the country.''
But UConn responded by scoring the final 10 points of the quarter and the first four points of the second. Williams had eight of the Huskies' 14 points during that spurt.
Williams had her seventh career double-double before halftime, scoring 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds as the Huskies took a 44-27 lead into intermission.
Kia Nurse quickly pushed the lead to 20 in the third quarter on with a 3-pointer, and it was 30 points a few minutes later after a jumper from Moriah Jefferson.
Auriemma's first win came on Nov. 23, 1985, 73-67 at Iona. The Huskies won their first seven games that year, but finished the season 12-15. Since then, Auriemma has led the Huskies to 10 national titles, 16 Final Fours, 21 regular-season conference championships and 20 conference tournament titles.
The Huskies improve to 2-0 all-time against the Wildcats. Their only other meeting was in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, a 72-26 blowout.
UConn: The Huskies have now won 23 straight home openers. They are now 37-5 all-time and 30-1 under Auriemma. His only home-opening loss in his 30 years as head coach came on Nov. 29, 1990, when the Huskies fell to Iowa, 58-41. UConn ended that season 29-5, losing in its first Final Four appearance to Virginia.
Kansas State: The Wildcats blocked five shots, giving them 30 in four games. They have four starters that are a 6-foot or taller, and have six players on the roster with two or more blocked shots this season.
ELITE COMPANY: Stewart becomes the third fastest Husky to reach 2,000 points, doing it in her 117th game. Maya Moore needed just 108 games, and Kerry Bascom accomplished the feat in 113. Auriemma noted that Stewart has done it while averaging about 15 shots a game and filling up the stat sheet. She had eight rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots Monday.
UConn: The Huskies are back in Hartford on Saturday to take on Nebraska.
Kansas State: The Wildcats have one more game before their Thanksgiving break, taking on Southern at home on Wednesday.