TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Other than another lopsided loss to top-ranked Connecticut, South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said he felt fine.
Fernandez returned to the bench Sunday to coach his first game since spending five days in a hospital because of an allergic reaction to medication and watched the cold-shooting Bulls lose to the Huskies 63-38, USF's second loss to the defending national champions in three weeks.
In between the routs, Fernandez has had two stays in the hospital, although he's only missed one game, Feb. 2 at Louisville.
"I'm just tired," Fernandez said after the Bulls held UConn to a season-low point total yet still lose by 25.
"It's tough being away from your team and tough being in the hospital for the time that I was in there," he added. "It's definitely not the right way to lose 17, 18 pounds. That's for sure."
Bria Hartley scored 18 points and Breanna Stewart and Stefanie Dolson each had 15 as UConn (26-0, 13-0 American Athletic Conference) remained unbeaten.
USF (13-11, 8-5) forced the Huskies to work hard for points, but UConn countered with stifling defense of its own.
"We don't necessarily talk about it. We just go out and play defense and figure out what we've got to do to stop people and shut them down, and we do it," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said, adding that people often overlook that aspect of UConn's success because they are such a high-scoring team.
UConn entered Sunday leading the AAC and ranked sixth nationally in points scored at 85 per game. The Huskies also were first in the country fewest points at just over 48 per game.
"We're able to do something that's hard to do, you know: recruit high school All-Americans that score 16 million points in high school and get them to play defense when they come to college," Auriemma said "It's not easy to do, but we get them to do it."