DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — No. 3/3 Connecticut (20-2), the last visiting team to win at Cameron, snapped the Blue Devils’ 34-game home winning streak with a 61-45 victory Monday night, forcing Duke (17-3) to miss 19 consecutive shots during one stretch.
The Huskies made the Blue Devils look panicked and uncomfortable while holding them to a season-low 24.6 percent shooting and keeping them without a basket for roughly 12 minutes en route to their 10th straight win.
Sophomore Bria Hartley scored 15 points and redshirt-junior Caroline Doty added 11 points for the Huskies, who shot 45 percent and overcame 21 turnovers by forcing 15 from Duke.
“This particular group, I’m surprised, but we’re a really good defensive team. … It’s difficult for teams to get comfortable against us, because you might have a different kid guarding you every time down the floor,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “But the effort was unbelievable. We kind of pride ourselves on that. We think we’re the best defensive team in the country, and kids buy into that. And they’re not an easy team to defend.”
Chelsea Gray scored 13 points for the Blue Devils, who had won 11 straight overall. It was their first setback at Cameron since UConn visited two years ago and handed them an 81-48 loss. Elizabeth Williams added 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting for Duke.
Duke finished with only eight assists on its 17 baskets after its offense too often disintegrated into one-on-one battles and not enough passing against an aggressive UConn defense that Auriemma said was determined to take away the lane and turn the Blue Devils into a jump-shooting team.
“It’s a great lesson for our team. A great lesson on what not to do offensively, and how not to, I guess, rush yourself and do some things that we” shouldn’t do, coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
Sophomore Stefanie Dolson added 10 points and freshman Kiah Stokes had 11 of her 12 rebounds on the defensive end for UConn.
The Huskies entered with the nation’s toughest defense by shooting percentage, holding opponents to 30 percent. They forced the Blue Devils into their worst shooting night by far—their previous low was 32 percent in a loss to Notre Dame.
The Huskies have dominated this series lately, winning five straight and routing Duke twice last season—including a 36-point loss that ended the Blue Devils’ unbeaten start to 2010-11 and a 35-point romp in the NCAA tournament with a Final Four berth on the line.
There are five BIG EAST games set for Tuesday night, including a pair of nationally televised games on the CBS Sports Network.
Tue. 31 ST. JOHN’S at PITTSBURGH 7:00 p.m. Comcast Pittsburgh
SYRACUSE at PROVIDENCE 7:00 p.m.
SETON HALL at VILLANOVA 7:00 p.m.
NOTRE DAME at RUTGERS 7:00 p.m. CBS SN
LOUISVILLE at DE PAUL 9:00 p.m. CBS SN
CBS SN – CBS Sports Network
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.