Women's Basketball Falls To No. 1 Connecticut

Nov. 25, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) - Despite scoring 100 points, it was Connecticut's defense thatdominated Washington.

Svetlana Abrosimova scored 11 of her 23 points during a decisive early runas the No. 1 Huskies coasted to a 100-54 victory Friday night.

'In my 20 years of experience I can't think of another team that has asmuch talent and depth, short of the (WNBA's) Houston Comets,' Washington coachJune Daugherty said.

Abrosimova, a two-time All-America, started the early run with a 3-pointer.During a six-minute stretch, Connecticut outscored Washington 24-6 - and forcedsix turnovers - to take a 30-11 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the firsthalf.

'People talk a lot about our offense, but I think it's the defense thatmakes the difference,' Abrosimova said.

Connecticut (3-0) never trailed and dominated with defense, forcing 26turnovers and limiting Washington to 31.7 percent shooting from the field.

'I don't think you should judge other teams by how they play against us,'Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. 'We have the ability to make other teamslook not as good as they really are.'

Asjha Jones and Diana Taurasi each scored 14 points for Connecticut, andTamika Williams added 11. Abrosimova was 10-of-11 from the field.

Kellie O'Neill scored a career-high 27 points for Washington (1-2).

Megan Franza, Washington's leading scorer, was limited to six points on3-of-15 shooting, including 0-of-9 from 3-point range.

'We were prepared,' O'Neill said. 'They're just very good.'

Connecticut, which returns all five starters and the top eight scorers fromlast season's national championship team, led by at least 22 points throughoutthe second half.

Sue Bird scored five points during a 17-0 run by Connecticut early in thesecond half that made it a rout.

Connecticut outscored opponents by an average of 30.6 points last seasonwhile going 36-1. During the first three games this season, Connecticut hasoutscored opponents by an average of 36.7 points.

'Winning the national championship gave us a lot of confidence, but we'reworking to get even better,' Abrosimova said.

Abrosimova missed only one of nine shots in the first half as Connecticuttook a 53-27 halftime lead. O'Neill scored 19 of Washington's 27 first halfpoints.

It was the inaugural game at the newly renovated Hec Edmundson Pavilion,which was originally constructed in 1927 and underwent a $40 million faceliftthat increased seating capacity to 10,000.

Shea Ralph scored nine points to move into ninth place on Connecticut'scareer scoring list, passing Peggy Walsh.

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