MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The top-ranked Connecticut Huskies have traveled so much and played in enough different gyms over the past five games that it's tough getting into a rhythm.
They were only slowed down for a few minutes in their first visit to Memphis.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 points, and UConn overcame a slow start in routing Memphis 90-49 on Saturday in their first game against one of their new rivals in the American Athletic Conference.
"It's been a long trip to say the least, and I'm really, really thrilled with the way we handled the entire trip and especially today," Auriemma said with four of the past five games away from home. "We had a lot of great moments today."
With the eight-time national champions coming to town, Memphis scheduled this game as part of a doubleheader with the Tigers men's team in the FedExForum, home to the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies.
Fans paying for that morning tipoff got to stick around and watch the women play for free with nearly 7,000 taking advantage of the chance.
Memphis coach Melissa McFerrin called it a great day for the city with a display of basketball seldom seen.
"UConn is a great basketball team, and they've got a lot of great talent on the floor," McFerrin said. "I told our players before the game we've got to grow from this game and we've got to grow up. There'll be a lot of positive things we can take from this in spite of some of the things that happened on the floor today."
With the Huskies now going to a handful of new towns in conference play, Auriemma said he talked to his team about how plenty of people will be seeing them for the first time in person.
"We probably made some new fans tonight that became UConn fans, and Memphis probably made a few fans tonight," Auriemma said.
Huskies sophomore forward Morgan Tuck said being ambassadors makes players appreciate UConn more since they're used to playing in front of a packed gym at home.
"When we go around to other places like here you realize women's basketball isn't that big of a deal in a lot of places," Tuck said.