Updated at: 01/19/2013 6:07 PM
By PAT EATON-ROBB
(AP) HARTFORD, Conn. - Stefanie Dolson scored a career-high 25 points to lead No. 3 Connecticut to an 87-62 win over Syracuse on Saturday, handing the upstart Orange just their second loss of the season.
Dolson, who hit nine of her 17 shots, also became the 36th player in UConn history to reach 1,000 points for her career.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis also had 25 points and freshman Breanna Stewart, who grew up in Syracuse, added 20 for the Huskies (16-1, 4-1 Big East).
Carmen Tyson-Thomas had 12 points to lead Syracuse ( 15-2, 3-1). Freshman Brianna Butler added 11. Senior Kayla Alexander, who was in foul trouble for most of the game, was held to just four points and played just 11 minutes.
UConn will host No. 4 Duke on Monday, the eighth ranked team the Huskies have faced this season. The Blue Devils are the last unbeaten team in Division I basketball.
Alexander, who had been averaging almost 20 points a game, was forced to sit after picking up her second personal foul less than 5 minutes into this one. With the 6-foot-4 senior on the bench, UConn quickly expanded an 8-4 lead to 14-4. Dolson did much of that damage, eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau with her eighth and ninth points, a layup that gave UConn an 18-7 lead.
Tyson-Thomas kept Syracuse close. She hit two consecutive jumpers to pull the Orange to within three at 24-21.
But Tyson-Thomas also got into foul trouble. The Orange were within one at 28-27 when she picked up her third foul. She took a seat next to Alexander and UConn took advantage. The Huskies closed the half on a 13-2 run and went into the break up 41-29.
Alexander picked up her third foul less than a minute into the second half and her fourth with just over 11 minutes remaining. She fouled out with 5:33 left and her team down 68-55.
Alexander still needs 16 points to tie Nicole Michael’s scoring record of 1,787.
Dolson scored the Huskies first six points of the second half as UConn opened up a 48-32 lead. The spurt gave the junior at least 20 points for the 11th time in her college career.
She matched her previous career high of 24 on a jumper that gave the Huskies 58-42 just over 5 minutes into the second half, and topped it with a free throw that gave UConn a 69-55 lead.
Mosqueda-Lewis finished just two points of her career high and tied a career mark by making six 3-point shots. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
Syracuse had been limiting opponents to 26.6 percent shooting on 3-pointers, tops in the conference, and did well guarding everyone but Mosqueda-Lewis from long-range. The Huskies made eight of 24 shots from behind the arc, 33 percent clip.
The Huskies also outrebounded Syracuse 48-34.
Stewart, who starred at Cicero-North High School in Syracuse, returned for the Huskies a little over a week after rolling her ankle in practice, an injury that forced the freshman to miss two games. Her traditional three-point play with 3:29 left gave UConn a 79-59 lead and put the game well out of reach.
Syracuse was picked to finish seventh in the conference, but put up a 12-1 record in nonconference play, losing to Temple, 74-67 in early December, a game in which the Orange blew a 39-25 halftime lead.
UConn has now won 22 straight games against Syracuse in a series they lead 36-12. The Huskies last loss to the Orange came in January, 1996.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)