HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Breanna Stewart tied her season high with 26 points and UConn won its first game since returning to the No. 1 spot in the AP poll, routing Houston 85-26 on Tuesday night.
Stewart, who played just 26 minutes, hit 11 of her 16 shots from the floor. She also had five rebounds and four assists for the Huskies (25-1, 14-0 American Athletic Conference).
Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck each added 12 points for UConn, which pushed its winning streak to 24 games.
Mariah Mitchell scored nine points for Houston (6-20, 1-13), which lost its 12th consecutive game and sits at the bottom of the conference.
It was the Huskies’ 72nd consecutive win against an unranked opponent, and their 249th in their past 250 games against teams outside of the Top 25.
The win gives UConn at least 25 victories for the 22nd consecutive season.
Kiah Stokes had 13 rebounds and seven blocks for the Huskies, giving her 118 blocks for the season. She needs 13 more to tie Rebecca Lobo’s single-season school record.
UConn opened the game on a 14-2 run.
The Huskies built their lead by going underneath, outscoring Houston 30-2 in the paint in the first half and 62-8 for the game.
UConn’s defense held Houston without a point for a six-minute span during a 14-0 run that made it 34-8.
The highlight of the game for Houston came when Bianca Winslow’s jump shot from the right baseline was deflected by UConn’s Gabby Williams and went into the basket. That made it 34-12. UConn led 39-12 at the half.
The Huskies did not shoot well from the outside, going 3 for 17 from 3-point range. But Houston hit just 2 of 18 from behind the arc and shot just 20 percent from the floor for the game.
The Huskies committed only eight fouls and held an opponent without a free-throw attempt for the second straight game.
UConn outrebounded Houston 46-26. The Cougars rank last in the AAC in rebounding.
Houston’s only win since Dec. 20 was a double-overtime victory over Cincinnati at home on Jan. 7.
UConn: The Huskies improved to 335-15 when playing as the No. 1 team in the nation. They are just 2-1 as the top team this season, after losing their second game of the season at Stanford.
Houston: The 26 points were the fewest for Houston in a game this season, 14 points below their previous low and 30 below their season average.
Houston: The Cougars head home from a two-game road trip to face SMU on Saturday at the Hofheinz Pavilion.
UConn: The Huskies head out on the road for games at Tulsa on Saturday and at Tulane next Monday.
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