Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

UConn players looking ahead to big-time test

After two convincing wins against overmatched opponents, the UConn women's basketball team will get to answer some questions of the Huskies life after Maya Moore when Stanford comes into Hartford for Monday night's showdown of top five teams.

Stanford is led by the athletic Ogwumike sisters who figure to test a UConn team which figures to only start one true post player (Stefanie Dolson).

"This is obviously our first game of the season and it is going to be our first big challenge," said junior Kelly Faris, who figures to draw the defensive assignment on one of the Ogwumike sisters. "Coming back from last year, if you lose to a great team like that you want to come back and redeem yourself and prove to yourself that you can get it done. We'll see how we come out tomorrow and see what we have to offer and hopefully we get down what we have been working on practice.

All three freshmen (Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Brianna Banks and Kiah Stokes) figure to play significant minutes against the Cardinal.

"I am really excited to see what our team is made of and honestly I think it is going to be positive," Mosqueda-Lewis. "I feel like our team is going to come out with a lot of energy and we are going to do all the little things.

"We've been watching them on TV playing in these big games and thinking oh my gosh, it is only going to be a matter of time before we're playing."

During our time interviewing Geno Auriemma, I couldn't resist asking him about the hug he received from Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike late in last season's game. It was a bizarre scene seeing Ogwumike, who had just fouled out of the game, walk towards the UConn bench. She received some strange looks from the UConn players as she approached Auriemma to give him a hug.

"Maybe when she was in high school she’d always dreamed of giving me a big hug after a big win," Auriemma said. "Somebody forgot to tell her that she should be on my team to do that."

Auriemma got to know Chiney and her family as UConn recruited her as a high school senior. Although he knew it was going to be a long shot to land her, he has no regrets about recruiting Ogwumike.

"They’re just really nice kids,' Auriemma said. "That was one of the more enjoyable recruiting scenarios that we had, recruiting Chiney. We knew it was a long shot but I enjoyed it. I got a kick out of her and her mom and her sisters. She’s just a great kid."

UConn signee Breanna Stewart was at Gampel Pavilion today and will be in attendance at tomorrow's game.

There wasn't an exact number of available tickets but a UConn spokesman estimated that about 3,000 tickets are available.

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