Last season, Senior Day was actually Senior Night, one UConn will remember for all the wrong reasons.
Two hours after saying goodbye to Tiffany Hayes, the Huskies said so long to an 18-year winning streak that had followed all those fond farewells.
St. John's one-point win also snapped the Huskies' 99-game home-court winning streak and was the Huskies' first home loss to an unranked opponent in nearly 19 years.
But Saturday afternoon, the Huskies hosted another — for Kelly Faris, Caroline Doty, Heather Buck and the five senior managers — that the program will remember for all the right reasons.
The No. 3 Huskies took care of business, ceremonial and otherwise, by defeating Seton Hall 90-30 before 9,107 at Gampel Pavilion.
Sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Faris led the Huskies (25-2, 12-1) with 18 points each. And among those points for both was the 1,000th of their careers.
Mosqueda-Lewis was 6 of 8 from the field, 4 of 5 from three. With her second three-pointer of the game with 16:03 to play in the first half, she became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000.
In just her 64th game, only Maya Moore (55) and Svetlana Abrosimova (63) did it quicker. Bria Hartley is the only other (73 games) to reach a grand as a sophomore.
"What took me so long," Mosqueda-Lewis chuckled, "was the long drought I seemed to have last year [freshman season] when I hit the wall a little."
And then with 6:20 to play, Faris became the 38th to 1,000 with a driving scoop layup off a steal — the classic Faris highlight.
"I knew I was close to it," Faris said. "I could tell because my teammates tried to get me open quite a bit. I realized what they were doing. It was nice to know I had the whole team and coaching staff behind me. And I know the fans were into it as well.
"But honestly, I think my teammates were a little fed up that I missed three or four layups before that."
She was the first UConn senior to commemorate her Senior Night by scoring her 1,000th point since Ashley Battle in 2005. Faris also had seven assists and seven steals. She has also surpassed 500 career assists.
"You can't orchestrate or predict things, but if you keep doing good things and work hard, keeping yourself in a good position, good things happen to you," coach Geno Auriemma said. "For Kelly to get her 1,000th point on Senior Night is sort of like her career has gone. She's been in the right place at the right time all the time."
Freshman Breanna Stewart, who was scoreless in seven minutes in Monday's loss to Baylor, scored 16 points and had eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
"I was just looking forward to getting out there again," Stewart said.
In accordance to tradition, Auriemma gave Heather Buck her first start since the opening game of the 2010-11 season against Holy Cross. She ended with four points in 13 minutes.
And there was a moment early in the half when Doty, her career so hampered by three injuries to her left knee, limped to the bench after turning her left ankle when she stepped on someone's foot.
But she returned, heavily taped, to play 17 minutes in the first half, and all else went well.
Faris scored 10 points with five steals in the first half when the Huskies opened a comfortable 44-15 lead.
Seton Hall (4-10, 9-18) got only nine points from its starters, none from leading scorer Brittany Morris, who was 0 of 7 from the field in 33 minutes. The Pirates did not score their first points of the second half until 13:30 remained. And by that time, the UConn lead was 56-17.
Terry Green led the Lady Pirates with 12 points.
Following Monday's loss to No. 1 Baylor, the win extends to 720 the number of games UConn (25-2, 12-1) has played since 1993 without consecutive losses.
It also clinched a bye in the quarterfinals for the Huskies in the upcoming Big East tournament. The Huskies have three regular-season games remaining, beginning Tuesday against Pittsburgh at the XL Center.
The season ends with games at South Florida on Saturday and Notre Dame March 4. If both the Huskies and Irish win their remaining Big East games, UConn will need to win to share the conference title. A coin flip will then determine the first seed in the tournament.
UConn didn't have any trouble Saturday. It took a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes and was ahead 18-6 after a three-pointer by Seton Hall's Tabatha Richardson-Smith with 12:52 to play in the first half.
The Huskies spent the last 13 minutes on a 26-9 run that pried the game wide open.
Mosqueda-Lewis, who led the Huskies with 26 points in the loss to Baylor, was 5 of 6 in the first half, 4 of 4 from three and scored 16 points in 16 minutes.
Stewart was 5 of 8 from the field in 11 first-half minutes and scored 10 points with five rebounds.
UConn enjoyed a 49-24 advantage on the boards and forced Seton Hall into 25 turnovers. UConn also blocked seven shots, and each of its 10 players scored.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times