Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma had the answer Sunday.
"I think we're bigger, stronger and quicker than last year," he said.
It sure looked liked it as the top-ranked and defending national champion Huskies beat No. 3 Georgia 99-70 in the State Farm Tip-off Classic top open the new season.
"For a first game out it's hard to find a lot of faults with the way we played," Auriemma said.
All of his starters are back from last year and Auriemma has blended in the talents of one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.
Connecticut's pressure defense shut down Georgia's twin stars, Kelly and Coco Miller, for most of the first half. Coco Miller made her first field goal with 50 seconds left in the half. Kelly had only four points and Coco had six at the break, and by the time they started hitting their shots in the second half, it was too late.
"We did not play with heart, we did not play with fire," said Georgia coach Andy Landers. "Somebody should have come out of the stands and ripped the 'G' off our jerseys."
Svetlana Abrosimova, a player of the year candidate, had 18 points and 11 assists for UConn. She had four of the Huskies' 15 steals and had zero turnovers.
"She seems to get as much pleasure out of getting other players involved and getting an assist," said Landers. "That's rare with great players."
Georgia got as close as 71-59 midway through the second half with a 10-2 run. Abrosimova countered on UConn's next possession with a 3-pointer as the Huskies outscored Georgia 28-11 the rest of the way.
Abrosimova scored 10 points as UConn raced out to a 54-31 lead at halftime on 62 percent shooting.
The Lady Dogs struggled to slow down UConn's fast break, which seemed to get fresher with each wave of Huskies substitutes. UConn got 32 points from its reserves.
"I don't recall many teams being as deep as this one," Landers said. "We could never go 10, 11 deep."
Auriemma used 12 players. His freshman class includes high school player of the year Diana Taurasi, who had eight points.
"I just stepped in and tried to go with the flow. Once I got warmed up, I wasn't nervous," Taurasi said.
"Our defense kind of smothered them. To their credit, they came back and played with a lot of heart in the second half. I expected that," Auriemma said.
Tamika Williams had 12 points and Sue Bird 11 for UConn, while Swin Cash added 10 rebounds.
Christi Thomas led Georgia with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Coco Miller finished with 15 points.
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