Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Miscues prove costly for UConn

Up four with the ball in the final two minutes, victory was well within the reach of the UConn women's basketball team.

Then, much as it did in the Huskies' last high-profile road game, it began to slip away.

UConn committed six turnovers in those final two minutes and the five-minute overtime period to allow Notre Dame to come back for a 74-67 victory on Saturday at the Joyce Center.

"It is unfortunate and the kids feel terrible about it back there (in the locker room)," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We had the game won. We get one stop at the end of the game, we're sitting here talking about wow we came into Notre Dame and beat them but we didn't."

Even after allowing Notre Dame to come all the way back, the Huskies had a chance to take the last shot and UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he was certain his team was going to score. Then Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis went to a spot on the floor she wasn't supposed to be and when she got the pass at the top of the key, her errant pass intended for Bria Hartley gave the ball back to Notre Dame. Natalie Novosel wasn't able to hit the game-winning layup but the Fighting Irish took over in the extra session to beat the Huskies for the second straight time.

"Not only did we do it once at Baylor but we followed it up with another one," UConn junior forward Kelly Faris said. "There really isn't much to say, there is pure frustration. We had it on our hands, it was our game to win. Even with how badly we have played, we could have won. We didn't deserve to win it."

UConn's 27 turnovers are the most the Huskies have committed in a Big East game and the third highest total in the program history as UConn had 30 turnovers against Southern California on Dec. 7, 2002 and 28 in a game at San Diego Srare on Dec. 21, 2007.

"I think a lot of it was their ball pressure - no question about that," Auriemma said. "Some of it was their abiliuty to get their hands on the ball and some it was that we were just a little careless. It happened in spurts. We would have two or three in a row and in a game that you know is going to be pretty close, any time you don't get a shot you don't get to make up those possessions.

"We have 100 more assists than turnovers this season, we are one of the best ballhandling teams in the country but not today. Kaleena is a freshman and she had six of them and you can say 'well she is a freshman.' Bria had seven and that's 13 right there between just two players. You are just not going to be able to beat a really good team giving up shots at the basket."

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