Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hayes gets her moment in the sun

Since arriving at UConn, Tiffany Hayes has thrived in a supporting role. But tonight she will be the center of attention when she is honored before UConn's game against St. John's.

It will be Hayes' final game at Gampel Pavilion and she will be the only player to take part in the Senior Night festivities which begin at 6:44 p.m.

At Thursday's practice I asked junior Kelly Faris and sophomore Bria Hartley what they will think of when they reflect on their time playing alongside Hayes.

"I remember coming in as a freshman, I looked at her and she was so good, so quick," Hartley said. "One of the things she was really good at was getting to the basket and that was one of the things I wanted to improve at. I looked to her and she gave me some pointers.

The two years with her have been a pretty good time, I think we have gotten pretty close in these two years. I will be upset when she leaves but she will be going onto the next step in her life."

Faris credits Hayes for making the step from a supporting role to become a go-to player as a senior.

"When she leaves, I am really going to remember this year specifically," Faris said. "I have been here going on three years now and from last year to this year sne has done a (180) degree turnaround. I think she has changed her mentality and I think that is the kind of stuff that people may not recognize. She always does well, she has been doing well since she was a freshman. I know it is not easy for her to completely change like that so that has been big for her. That is probably what I will remember the most about her. She changed in a way that is better for the team.

"She works her butt off, everybody knows that and she has since she has gotten here but I think she has realized that 'I am senior now and I have to set the example every single day.' It is not easy to come out here and do the right thing on every play, every possession for three hours, four hours. She was like 'OK, I am at the point, it is my senior year and I the only one (senior). I have all these young guys out there and I have to be that one, I have to set that example every day. I have to come out mentally ready, physically ready.' She is doing what she needs to do, whether she scores 30 two nights in a row or whatever it may be or if she gets 10-12 rebounds every night. She has figured out where she needs to be, what she needs to do."

UConn signees Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck have started the process of leading their teams to state titles.

Stewart had 32 points, extending her New York Section III record total to 2,158 points to lead her Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) team to an 89-25 win over Rome Free Academy on Friday. Cicero-North Syracuse will face Liverpool in the New York Section III Class AA semifinals on Friday.

Tuck had a pair of 30-point games as her Bolingbrook (Ill.) High beat Downers Grove North and West Aurora by a combined score of 186-55 to win the Bolingbrook Sectional. Now Tuck and Bolingbrook plays Neuqua Valley in the Class 4A Neuqua Valley Sectional semifinals on Tuesday.

Moriah Jefferson, the third member of UConn's incoming freshman class, will begin postseason play on Thursday when the Texas Home Educators' Sports Association Riders in the regionals in Frisco, Tex.

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