You want comparisons, maybe go to the longer-running Broadway hits - Cats in its day or Wicked, go back to A Chorus Line. Just put the name on the marquee - UConn women - and people know what they're walking in to see.

Wednesday night, the name was on a North Broad Street marquee.

This is one of those seasons when Connecticut's stars had moved on, like Broadway stars going on to movies or television and the understudies have taken over. The reviews are in, the show has gone on.

You could walk in thinking, Hey, any given night. UConn, did, in fact, lose to an unranked opponent on the road as recently as 145 months ago.

This current group of Huskies, replacing a senior class for the ages, looks like it still is in proving-it mode, which isn't good for opponents, including Temple. The Owls found themselves on the short end of 52-18 by halftime at the Liacouras Center, a more respectable 97-69 by the end.

The Owls (16-5 overall, 6-2) did score the most points against UConn since December. But 52-18 looked like 52-18.

The last time UConn coach Geno Auriemma had been talking to reporters in Philadelphia, at the American Athletic Conference preseason media day here, the Norristown-raised and West Chester-educated coach had said, "You win when you have great players. You win big when you have iconic players."

Acknowledging that UConn seasons are defined in March or even early April, where are we now with this group of 21-0 Huskies?

"Which group, the first-half group or the second half?'' Auriemma quipped, but he was answering the question, calling this team "smart enough to turn it on, and unfortunately, they're smart enough to know when to ease it up."

He went on: "This particular team will never pass up an opportunity to take the easy way. They'll do it when it's hard. ... The other stuff, after that? 'Coach, we already won the game. You want us to do it again in the second half?' "

But that first half.

"The way we approached every switch and every rotation, and everything we wanted to do to keep them off balance, we got it done,'' Auriemma said. "It led to some really good stuff at the other end. We wanted to attack off the dribble, and then we were very, very efficient. We got the right people getting the right shots at the right time. I can't think of one thing when we went into halftime, 'We've got to do a better job.' "

For UConn, Napheesa Collier had 25 points, making 12 of 14 shots (plus 19 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals), while Katie Lou Samuelson had 24. Tanaya Atkinson led Temple with 20 points off the bench.

For basketball aficionados, seeing this team live always is a little eye-opening. Former Temple men's stars Mark Macon and Mike Vreeswyk took this one in.

"The fundamentals are unbelievable,'' Vreeswyk said. "Crazy. I've never seen anything like it."

Statistically, the understudies aren't giving up anything to those former stars: UConn players are 1-2-3 in the league in three-point percentage, and the other two starters are first and third in overall field-goal percentage. Try to find that combination, any league, any level. Through UConn's previous eight AAC games, the Huskies had averaged 93 a game, given up 47. Closest game: 36 points.

This night, UConn gave up an opening hoop - only the second time in the last 12 games it had trailed by even two points - then got right to work. It's tough to even give this group positions. The Huskies all hurt you from anywhere and were committed to getting to the hoop, only taking one three-pointer in the first quarter as they built a 25-8 lead. At the defensive end, UConn presents even bigger problems. The first quarter, the Huskies blocked as many shots as the Owls made, and had more steals than that.

If you want to argue that other current American sports dynasties stack up, you'd better bring a big bag of facts. UConn's current record streak of 96 is No. 1 on a list of streaks that also includes UConn at No. 2 (90 games (2008-11), No. 3 (70 games, 2001-03) and No. 5 (47 games, 2013-14). This game marked a 35th-straight road victory, the latest D-I record.

"I'm conscious of not making them feel the weight of everything that came before them," Auriemma, coming off four straight NCAA titles, had said before the season about this year's team.

Think they're all right, Geno.

mjensen@phillynews.com

@jensenoffcampus