Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Another impressive defensive effort by UConn

Even if Rutgers had the services of senior point guard Khadijah Rushdan, the Scarlet Knights weren't going to come in and make a run at the highest scoring output for a Connecticut opponent in Gampel Pavilion's history. Still, after holding No. 5 Duke to 45 points on Monday, the Huskies had another stellar defensive effort.

The game turned in the first half when UConn outscored Rutgers 17-0 over a 5-minute span. The Scarlet Knights only attempted two shots because of four turnovers.

In the second half Rutgers missed 17 of its 21 shots and had nine turnovers.

"We rely on our defense and we try to turn our defensive stops into points," UConn senior guard Tiffany Hayes said. "Coach (Auriemma) said we had a great defensive effort tonight so hopefully we can keep it up.
We usually want to hit teams first, it took us a little. Usually they hit us first from what I remember in the past games, they were really tough games. I was glad that we were ale to come out and hit them first instead of being hit first."

Auriemma was extremely pleased with the defensive effort.

"I thought defensively we were really, really good," Auriemma said. "One thing that maybe doesn't get as much notoriety is the scouting reports that our guys (assistant coaches) come up with - Chris, Marisa and Shea.They take it real seriously and those guys are real serious about that stuff and all three of them when it is their turn, they are really into the scouting report and they make the players are really into it. By the time that game time comes around, there is very little that our players don't know about what we are going to do and how we are going to defend them. Preparation is a big, big part of it.

"I don't know if you can have anywhere near the kind of success that we had without us playing the kind of defense that we played. I think those two things go hand in hand with the number of games, Big East championships or tournament championships or national championships, none of those would be possible if weren't a real good defensive team. You have to be a good defensive team every year, you can't be (good) some years you are and some years you are not. We probably don't get the credit that some other people get because we don't talk about it, we don't have any special presses, we don't have fancy names for what we do defensively. We've had so many good offensive players play for us that it is easy to overlook that they are good defensive players because everybody is fixated about how good they are offensively. I don't mind that."

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Anonymous Joe said...

I really enjoy watching UConn women play defense, year after year. In many ways they remind me of the '86 Bears football team: they score off turnovers and they are relentless all the time and they are fun to watch if you know what to look for and appreciate how sound their fundamentals are!

11:28 AM 

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