Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Banks delivers for Huskies

Even before Brianna Banks was summoned off the UConn bench, junior center Stefanie Dolson knew that the Huskies' sophomore guard would be ready to roll or as Dolson put it "Bri is about to ball out tonight."

Dolson's hunch was correct.

Banks entered the game following the first television timeout and 90 seconds later scored her first points on a layup. Just eight seconds later Banks stole the inbounds pass and scored again. Banks would finish with a career-high 20 points and also had three rebounds, five assists, four steals and no turnovers in a team-high 25 minutes.

"It wasn't just today," Banks said following the 101-41 victory. "I felt like I had a good two days of practice so of course it is going to carry over in the game with my confidence level.

"I still feel I think a lot but it is not as much as last year and my teammates have helped me out a lot with that so I feel like I have adjusted to it."

Banks scored in double figures three times during her freshman season. She has already matched that number through the first six games of her sophomore campaign. She is averaging 9.5 points per game and is shooting 64.5 percent from the field including a 53.8 mark from 3-point range.

Banks credited some soul searching during a return home following her freshman season to allowing her to turn the page. Her teammates and coaches noticed a difference almost immediately.

"When you have those people who come off the bench and really give that spark you need to come out fresh and have a lot of energy like she did, it just kind of reenergizes the girls who were in there to begin with," Dolson said. "I knew she was going to have a good game because in our warmups she hit every shot she took and I said 'Bri is about the ball out tonight.' She did, she can out fighting and I am really proud of the way she played."

Now comes the next step of Banks' evolution as she tests herself in back to back games against ranked opponents. It should be noted that Banks was averaging 7.8 points per game through the first four games of her freshman season but she ended up seeing limited action against the top teams.

Look for Banks to see plenty of time Monday against No. 11 Maryland and Thursday when the Huskies play No. 6 Penn State.

"I guess it is a test to what I am really ready for," Banks said. 

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