Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

UConn's defense too much for overmatched DePaul

With four players including All-American candidate Keisha Hampton sidelined for DePaul, it was pretty clear that Saturday night's UConn/DePaul game was not going to resemble the thriller played at McGrath-Phillips Arena back on Mar. 1, 2008 when a Maya Moore steal and Ketia Swanier coast to coast layup pulled out an improbable Connecticut victory.

Still, it was hard to expect the relative ease with which UConn dismantled No. 21 DePaul before a sellout crowd of 4,001.

UConn set McGrath-Phillips opponent records with 18 steals and a season-high nine blocks and the Huskies held Anna Martin, the Big East's second-leading scorer without a point.

"Everywhere she went tonight, we were able to get a hand on her," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Kelly (Faris) is tough enough to play against when you have two or three options but when you are the single, most important option - it is difficult. What we wanted to do is make sure we pushed her out of her comfort zone and try to make her be a playmaker instead of a shooter. We've got a couple of kids on
our team that take their defensive assignments and they knew they were going up against a very good player today. She had some open looks that she didn't make so I think she probably contributed to this as much as we did."

Offensively, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had five 3-pointers en route to a career-high tying 25 points.

The only drawback in the game was UConn junior guard Caroline Doty leaving the game with 17:40 left in the first half because of soreness in her surgically-repaired left knee. The initial tests were encouraging as the knee showed no signs of instability.

"Caroline's knee is sore every single day and it will probably be sore every single day for the rest of her life," Auriemma said. "I didn't see it happen but she said that she just felt something and there was a little bit of swelling in it which is not that unsual but Rosemary (Ragle, UConn's trainer) and (UConn team doctor_ Tom Trojian said let's just keep her out and they are not that concerned about it."

Auriemma also spoke about the high regard in which he holds DePaul coach Doug Bruno, going as far as saying the first thing he did when he was named the U.S. senior national team coach was put into motion to play to have Bruno be one of his assistant coaches for the 2012 Olympics. The official announcement was made about Bruno's appointment (as well as those of Jen Gillom and Marynell Meadors on Friday).

"The opportunity for me when I was named the coach to just immediately say 'this is a guy I want on my staff," Auriemma said. "Whatever committee looked at his qualifications, there was never any of 'why him?' He has given his life to the game. I just felt like he deserved it because of what he has done and what he has given to the game. He is a really smart guy and he knows a lot about the game that helps me and I think helps our players. for me, it is was the first thing I did when I got the job."
Finally, UConn signee Morgan Tuck (who lives about 30 minutes away in Bolingbrook) was a part of the 4,001 in attendance tonight.

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