Jan. 6, 1998

    Connecticut Beats Providence

    STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Coming off its first loss of the season, third-ranked Connecticut wanted to chase the blues away.

    It did so in record fashion.

    "This was exactly the kind of game we wanted to have," junior Amy Duran said after the Huskies clobbered Providence 126-48 Tuesday night in the Big East.

    "We felt kind of dejected the last couple of days and our confidence was low. It was just a matter of coming out with the same level and effort," said Duran, one of seven UConn players in double figures.

    The point total broke the 1996 school record of 108 - also against Providence. It also is the most points scored this season by a Division I women's team.

    Providence coach Jim Jabir had more than an inkling UConn would be up for the game. He watched on television Saturday as the Huskies lost by 15 points to top-ranked Tennessee and admitted crying in his living room.

    "It was like watching a horror movie," he said.

    UConn (13-1, 4-0 Big East) scored 28 points off 26 Providence turnovers. The Huskies also outrebounded Providence 65-28.

    Freshman Svetlana Abrosimiova got her first start for UConn, and had 17 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists.

    "We were disappointed after the Tennessee game," Abrosimova said.

    UConn senior Nykesha Sales led all scorers with 30 points, second only to her carer-high 46 against Stanford last month. UConn shot 60.8 percent from the floor (45-of-74) while holding Providence to 20.6 percent (13-of-63).

    "I hope Providence doesn't take it personally," Sales said. "But it was some stuff we needed to get out; we needed a game like that to get back on track."

    UConn coach Geno Auriemma agreed that his players needed to put the past few days behind them.

    "The way we played the game today is the way it should be played," he said.

    The 78-point margin was a Big East record, breaking the 56-point margin by UConn over St. John's in 1984.

    Jen Gombotz led Providence (6-6, 2-2) with 11 points.