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UConn displays no signs of rust

STORRS, Conn. -- A nearly two-week layoff didn't bother Connecticut.

The Huskies took to a familiar script, routing a first-round opponent in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

Stefanie Dolson scored all 12 of her points in the first half to lead a balanced Connecticut offense, and the top-seeded Huskies beat Hartford, 75-39, on Sunday.

"We haven't played in so long that we're unsure what we're going to get the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We know in the first round you're going to play someone from a talent standpoint that is going to struggle to handle some of the things that you're going to do."

Maya Moore, Bria Hartley and Tiffany Hayes added 12 points each for the Huskies (33-1), who started their journey toward a third consecutive national championship. The victory was UConn's 21st straight and 82nd in a row at home, where the Huskies are hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and giving their local fans one more weekend to see them.

Alex Hall scored 10 points to lead Hartford (17-16), which was making its sixth trip to the NCAAs.

It didn't take very long for UConn to take control of the game, as Dolson, a 6-foot-5 freshman center, had her way with the smaller Hawks. Their tallest player was 6-1 and it showed in the rebounding numbers, where the Huskies had a 47-23 advantage.

Last year, Dolson was watching Connecticut's run to a seventh national title on television. Now she'll be a big part of a potential eighth.

"It was cool that this was my first game in the tournament and we played well out there," she said.


*Brittney Griner and Brooklyn Pope each had 17 points as top-seeded Baylor opened with a 66-30 victory over Prairie View, whose miserable shooting translated into the lowest-scoring half ever in the tournament. The Lady Bears (32-2) raced out to a 16-0 lead at home while Prairie View (21-12) missed its first 12 shots before finally getting a layup from Waco native Robin Jones more than 9 minutes into the game. Baylor, which went to the Final Four last season when the 6-foot-8 Griner was a freshman, led 34-8 at halftime. That was the fewest points in a half ever by a women's team in an NCAA Tournament game.

*Liz Repella scored 26 points and Madina Ali added 13 points and 15 rebounds as West Virginia (24-9) used its size and NCAA Tournament experience to beat Houston, 79-73. Courtney Taylor, the two-time Conference USA Player of the Year, had 17 points but was on the bench when the game slipped away for Houston (26-6).

*Georgetown's Sugar Rodgers outscored Princeton in the first half, and the Hoyas used a smothering press to take control in a 65-49 victory over the Tigers (24-5). Rogers, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, finished with 26 points for the Hoyas (23-10).

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