Jordyn Holmes had a team-leading and career-best 17 points as the Tulsa women's basketball team dropped a 98-60 decision to #2 UConn on Wednesday night at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. TU fell to 6-8 on the season and 1-2 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Huskies moved to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in the league.
“We didn't play very well in the first half and they had a lot to do with that,” Head Coach Matilda Mossman said. “They exploited our weaknesses. Early in the game they hit every outside shot and defensively we had to do different things and try different people to shut them down.”
“I don't think we did anything different in the second half, but we used different personnel and we fought harder. In the first half we were caught up in the crowd and who we were playing and I think Ashley Hughes and Jordyn Holmes were playing steady, and Ashley Clark came in in the second half did a great job. When they are showing toughness and fearlessness it carries over to other people.”
The Golden Hurricane scored 60 on a UConn team that averaged only 52.4 points allowed per game, including just 60 or more points in three games (#6 Stanford, Creighton and #25 DePaul).
Tulsa nearly paced the Huskies in the second frame, trailing only 37-32, in the final 20 minutes. The Hurricane forced 10 turnovers on eight steals, while allowing just six turnovers and four steals in the second half. TU also allowed just one offensive board by UConn, while picking up seven.
The Huskies led by as many as 48 (80-32) at the 15:42 mark, but Tulsa outscored them 28-18 to close out the game.
“I just think we got what we wanted out of the second half, which was to feel good about ourselves, to be able to go out and play the No. 2 team in the country and not turn the ball over and to be able to score. We scored 60, they've had 10 opponents that haven't scored 60 points this season, and we felt good about the fact that they only outscored us by five in the second half.”
Clark also posted double figures with 15 points, while Erika Wakefield and Kadan Brady each had six. Clark pulled down seven rebounds and Autura Campbell added five, and Holmes and Wakefield each had three steals.
Moriah Jefferson had a game-best 22 points for the Huskies, followed closely by Morgan Tuck with 21. Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams both had 15 points and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 11.
UConn had 54 points in the paint, 33 points off of turnovers and 23 points off the bench, while TU had 35 points off the bench and just 22 points in the paint.
TU shot 36-percent from the field, 30-percent from three-point range and 57-percent from the free throw line, while UConn was 64-percent from the field, 59-percent from behind the arc and 55-percent from the charity stripe.
Antoinet Webster put TU on the board first as she hit a jumper at the 19:27 mark, but that would be the only lead for the Hurricane as Mosqueda-Lewis tallied a three-pointer just 16 seconds later that sparked an 11-0 run to give the Huskies an 11-2 advantage at the 17:33 mark.
UConn went on a 10-0 run to go from a 41-22 score at the 6:35 mark to a 51-22 advantage with 4:34 on the clock, and took a first-half best 31-point lead of 61-28 into the break.
Tulsa shot just 34-percent from the field, including 33-percent from behind the arc, and Campbell scored on the only free throw attempt, while the Huskies were 67-percent from the field, 53-percent from three-point range and were 57-percent (4-of-7) from the charity stripe.
Clark and Holmes both had six points, while Clark and Webster each had three boards to lead TU in the first frame. Tuck had a team-best 17 points, Jefferson added 15 and Williams had 10 points in the first half for UConn.
Tulsa will return to action against Memphis on Saturday, Jan. 10. Game time is set for 2:00 pm at the Donald W. Reynolds Center.