By John Altavilla, The Hartford Courant
HARTFORD – The more time passes, the more branches will sprout from the trunk of the big oak. And UConn’s Geno Auriemma knows that eventually an apple will fall from one that can actually beat one of his teams.
“I look forward to that day,” said Auriemma. “It would like when my son [Michael] beat me for the first time playing golf. It was like, if I’m going to beat him all the time, why would I want to play against him?”
The landscape still points to Hartford’s Jen Rizzotti as the most logical culprit to first to beat her mentor in something more meaningful than a driveway game of 1-on-1.
Well, that day was not Saturday; the first day of the 2013-14 season for UConn’s defending national champion and Hartford’s America East steam engine.
Returning a team almost totally intact, in terms of athleticism and swag, the Huskies put an 89-34 pounding on the undermanned Hawks, at the XL Center.
Sophomore guard Moriah Jefferson, who missed the final preseason game with a right ankle twist, led the Huskies with a career-high 17 points, nine in the second half. She added five assists in 25 minutes.
Senior center Stefanie Dolson had 16 points, all in the first half when she had two three-pointers and did not miss from the floor. Dolson barely played in the second half.
The same could be said for sophomore Breanna Stewart. She scored 12 points in the 14 first-half minutes and just two more in five after that.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also scored 12 points in 19 minutes. Freshman walk-on Tierney Lawlor, who played at Ansonia High, scored her first five points, all in a row in the final three minutes. It included a three from right corner.