By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Azzi Fudd scored 22 of her career-high 32 points in the second half to help No. 5 UConn beat third-ranked Texas 83-76 on Monday night in an early season showdown of top-ranked teams.
Aubrey Griffin added 14 points and Lou Lopez Senechal had 12 for the Huskies (2-0), who moved up one spot in the poll earlier in the day. They stayed unbeaten against Texas (1-1) in 10 meetings. This was the first time the historic women’s basketball powers had played on UConn’s campus at Gampel Pavilion.
UConn led by five at the half and built the lead to double-digits behind Fudd in the third quarter, going up 63-51 to the delight of a sold-out crowd that was led by a boisterous student section. The lead ballooned to 17 points before the Longhorns scored eight straight to get back into single digits with just over 2 minutes left.
Fudd, a sophomore guard, squashed the comeback hopes with a 3-pointer from the wing that restored the double-digit advantage and put the game away.
Texas was missing guard Rori Harmon. She has been sidelined with a toe injury, coach Vic Schaefer said after the opener. Harmon was wearing a walking boot on her right foot.
The Huskies were able to take advantage of her absence, forcing Texas into 18 turnovers.
With the game tied at 32 late in the second quarter, the Huskies outscored the Longhorns 10-5 for the remainder of the half, converting three steals into fastbreak layups. There were 11 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes and the Huskies held a 42-37 advantage at the break.
Sonya Morris, who arrived at Texas as a graduate transfer from DePaul, led the Longhorns with 21 points.
UConn welcomed back Caroline Ducharme, who missed the opener with neck stiffness. The sophomore guard had two points in five minutes.
The teams had a rough night from the foul line, combining to go 19 for 38 (50%).
UConn retired former Huskies star Swin Cash’s No. 32 before the game. Cash is the third player in school history to have that honor, joining Rebecca Lobo and Ray Allen. The honor is only given to basketball alums who have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Cash was enshrined in September.
Cash won two national championships at UConn in 2000 and 2002, before she was taken second in the WNBA draft.
Texas: Plays Marquette in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament on Saturday.
UConn: Hosts no. 10 NC State on Sunday.
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