Updated BIG EAST Notes
Leading by just two at the half (32-30), No. 3/2 UConn turned the game against No. 4/4 Duke into a rout and won 79-49. The Huskies (17-1) held previously undefeated Duke (16-1) to just 19 points in the second half.
''The last 20 minutes of the game was as much fun as I've had in a long, long time,'' Auriemma said.
A fiery halftime speech from the Hall of Fame coach seemed to have sparked his team.
''Tonight the frustration came out of me in the locker room,'' Auriemma said. ''Kelly (Faris) turned all that frustration into concentration and aggressiveness that helped us find a little bit of what was missing. ... Now the key is holding on to it and adding to it.''
Senior Kelly Faris was everywhere. She finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. The guard seemed to get her hand on every loose ball and also shut down Duke point guard Chelsea Gray.
''There have been some legends wearing that Connecticut uniform,'' Auriemma said. ''I don't know if anyone represented that uniform, herself, her family the way that kid did tonight. I know there are a lot of players out there that are really good. I know there are a lot of All-Americans who have played here. That was one for the ages right there.''
Auriemma gave Faris a giant hug when he took her out of the game with 1:36 left. Usually that show of emotion is saved for the end of the season.
The Blue Devils were the last unbeaten team in men's or women's Division I basketball. The last time the Blue Devils came up to Connecticut two years ago they were also unbeaten and the Huskies had one loss. UConn won that game 87-51.
With the victory, UConn kept alive its streak of 20 years without consecutive home losses at Gampel Pavilion. This was the first game played on campus since UConn lost to Notre Dame by a point on Jan. 5.
UConn freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored a game-high 21 points, including four 3-pointers.
On Tuesday, a pair of nationally-televised games top the schedule on the CBS Sports Network. Georgetown (11-7, 2-3 BIG EAST) is at Rutgers (10-7, 1-3 BIG EAST) at 7 p.m., while No. 13/13 Louisville (15-4, 3-2 BIG EAST) is at Marquette (10-7, 2-2 BIG EAST) at 9 p.m.
In addition, DePaul (14-5, 3-2 BIG EAST) is at Cincinnati (8-9, 0-4 BIG EAST), while USF (12-5, 1-3 BIG EAST) is at Seton Hall (7-11, 2-3 BIG EAST). Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report. All times are Eastern