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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, November 21, 2011

UConn gets physical in win over Stanford

If one image (other than precocious freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis torching Stanford for 19 first-half points) will stay with me following UConn's 68-58 win over Stanford on Monday night, it is seeing Kelly Faris jostling with the larger Stanford post players possession after possession. Faris had to pick herself up off the floor countless times but she typified the attitude the Huskies displayed in beating Stanford.

UConn actually outrebounded the much bigger Stanford squad 46-45 including an 18-12 edge on the offensive glass. The Huskies won even though there was 14:33 remaining before another UConn player other than Mosqueda-Lewis or Bria Hartley hit a basket.

:Offenisively is it really hard to have any kind of rhythm (this early in the season)," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I am not surprised that we were this good defensively but I am surprised that we would be as effective as we were because I didn't know what the size disadvantage was going to be like for
us. We played so hard for 40 minutes, That is one of the best defensive efforts we've had in a long, long time and I was really pleasantly surprised by that."

The defense had to be strong because the offense was shaky for the Huskies, who missed their first 10 shots.  Starters Tiffany Hayes, Stefanie Dolson, Kelly Faris and Caroline Doty were a combined 7 of 35 leaving Mosqueda-Lewis and Bria Hartley (19 points) to carry the offense for long stretches.

"The key is how do you beat a really good team when they don't go in and that is what we did tonight. We didn't win the game because we made every shot tonight," Auriemma said. "I think you feel better when you win games when shots don't go in."

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer credited the physicality of the UConn team as being the difference.

"It was kind of like a November heavyweight fight. I thought it was extremely physical and those are the games you usually see in March," VanDerveer said. "It was really good for our team to see that and get ready for it.

"Tonight was Connecticut's night, they were on a mission. Connecticut clearly was more aggressive than we were, I don't think there is any doubt about that."

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