STORRS, Conn. -- South Florida came to Gampel Pavilion for the first time in a decade Sunday believing the time was right for it to challenge the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.
At the end, the Bulls looked overwhelmed -- just like every other American Athletic Conference opponent the Huskies have faced.
Second-ranked UConn used two runs to take a quick 19-point lead and never looked back as it took sole possession of the AAC lead with a 92-50 rout of USF before an announced crowd of 9,030.
"We look forward to these types of games," UConn forward Morgan Tuck said. "We know when teams are gearing up for us and they're thinking they can beat us. It makes us be on our game a little more. We knew they wouldn't give up and they would fight all game so we had to be ready. We're always excited to play good teams."
The Huskies (16-1 overall, 6-0 AAC) won their 15th straight and with it take a one-game lead over USF and Tulane in the league standings.
UConn has not lost in AAC play six games into Year 2 (27-0).
"USF beat a lot of teams in the last two months that are pretty good," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "That might be more indicative of what kind of team they are than what happened today. We beat some teams from really good conferences by the same margins almost. I don't know when people play against us it's a fair test or fair evaluation of who they are. I think that their non-conference record speaks for itself.
"And the fact is our conference is what it is right now, we've been down that road before. This is not anything new to us. I was looking at some of our past championship teams and some of the scores and they're almost identical to what they are today. I don't know if it would change no matter what conference we were in. Notre Dame was in our conference and won one league tournament championship. They changed leagues and they went undefeated. We have some pretty good teams in our league. It's just that sometimes with us being in the league they don't have the chance to show it. It's going to take time. There's no other way to spin it. Hopefully in time it will be the kind of conference that can hold its own."
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led four Huskies in double figures with 18 points. All-American Breanna Stewart had a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds along with five blocked shots. Point guard Moriah Jefferson added 15 points, hitting all six of her shots from the floor, six rebounds, and seven assists. Her only turnover in three games came on a questionable offensive foul call in the first half. Tuck finished with 15 points. Off the bench, Gabby Williams had nine points and eight rebounds while Kiah Stokes blocked seven shots.
"We knew they were a really tough team to play against so we really wanted to come out and try to hit them first," Jefferson said. "Whenever you start a game like that it really builds confidence and you keep building from there."
USF (14-4, 5-1) was playing in its first game on UConn's campus since taking the Huskies to overtime on Dec. 1, 2004. There was no suspense Sunday.
Jefferson's layup after stealing the ball from USF's Laura Ferreira gave UConn a 9-0 lead. A 12-0 run, which was started by a Mosqueda-Lewis 3-pointer and ended by a Kia Nurse trey, made it 25-6 with 7:39 gone.
"The way we started took them back a little bit and it really puts us in an aggressive mode," Tuck said. "When we start that way we usually stay that way the whole game."
The Huskies lead was 49-31 at halftime. At 56-40, UConn held USF scoreless for 8:31 and put up 17 unanswered points -- four each by Tuck and Stewart, and three apiece from Mosqueda-Lewis, Nurse, and Jefferson -- to turn it into a blowout.
The Bulls, now 0-15 all-time against UConn, had their eight-game winning streak snapped.
"This wasn't indicative of who we are," USF coach Jose Fernandez said. "We'll get back to Tampa and there are a lot of things that we can take from this and that we can improve on.
"Yeah, we lost by 40. But Duke is a pretty good basketball team, and UCLA, and you can go right down their schedule. Everybody is talking about the American Athletic Conference, but talk about the other opponents from Power 5 leagues that UConn has dismantled. This conference will get better, and we will get better together."
Courtney Williams, who entered the weekend as the AAC's second-leading scorer, finished with 23 points but was just 8-for-25 from the floor and did not have a single assist.
UConn won the battle of the boards 49-41 after trailing in that category by one at halftime. The Huskies also held the Bulls to 26.0 percent shooting.
"We take a lot of pride in what we do defensively," Auriemma said. "I thought we made them work for whatever points they got. I don't think we did a good job of keeping them off the backboards. They had like 15 offensive rebounds in first half. But we changed a couple of things at halftime and I thought our defense in the second half was really, really, really good and we rebounded the ball a lot better.
"Sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle that we're a pretty good defensive team. What happens when we score points as quickly as we did today is the other team starts to rush because they have to hurry up to get back in the game. Then they take shots they're not ready to take or don't want to take."
The Huskies start a two-game road trip when they take on Central Florida in Orlando on Wednesday (7 p.m., SNY).