If a mercy rule is ever created for college basketball, it should be called the Geno Auriemma rule. Auriemma’s UConn Huskies dynasty hit new heights this afternoon, beating St. Francis, a 16 seed from Pennsylvania, 140-52 in their opening game of the NCAA Tournament. Somehow, that 88-point victory doesn’t do justice to how much they dominated.
That’s because UConn went into halftime with a staggering 94-31 lead, smashing the Division I women’s record for most points in a half en route to a new record for most points in a women’s tournament game. There were still seven minutes left in the game when UConn got that record. The only better offensive performance in NCAA Tournament history was a 149-115 win by the Loyola Maramount men’s team over Michigan in 1990, and the only more lopsided game ever in the Tourney was last year’s 119-30 Baylor takedown of Texas Southern.
The Huskies were an overall 59-of-91 from the field—shooting 73.6 percent in the first half—with six players scoring in double figures. Azura Stevens and Napheesa Collier led the way with 26 and 25 points, respectively, while AAC Player of the Year Katie Lou Samuelson had a game-high 10 assists to go with her 18 points. In the paint, UConn outscored St. Francis 96-10.
St. Francis did walk away with one record of their own, however, taking an all-time NCAA Tournament high of 57 three-pointers. They made 10.