NEW YORK – Top-ranked UConn won its 18th consecutive game to put away No. 21/20 California in the marquee matchup of the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Bears (7-3) were one of the few teams in the country during the streak to sit within seven points of the Huskies (29-16) at the final media timeout of the first half, but UConn ran away with the game behind Brianna Stewart’s 29 points and 10 rebounds.
Freshman Hind Ben Abdelkader and junior Brittany Boyd led the Bears with nine points each. Boyd also added seven rebounds, five assists and six steals – the only individual to record six steals against the Huskies this season – while Ben Abdelkader shined while making her first career start at the world’s most famous arena.
As a team, California blocked six shots – the most of the season – and forced 16 Connecticut turnovers in front of 5,468 fans. Junior Kyra Dunn made her first appearance as a Golden Bear and blocked two shots in the game.
Cal closed to 29-16 on Boyd's layup with 3:51 left in the first half, but could get no closer. Stewart's layup with 2 seconds left in the opening half made it 40-20 at the break.
The Bears will take the week off before hosting Lafayette at Haas Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m.