Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Doty has a career game; Tuck glad to be back

Caroline Doty couldn't have picked a better way to end 2012 or put herself in a better frame of mind going into 2013 with one of the best games of her collegiate career.

Doty already set a career high in rebounds and was two assists away from her career best performance - by halftime. At game's end Doty had a season-high 14 points, a career-high 12 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocks in a 95-51 win over Oregon.

"It's a new pace, not a lot of teams play like that," Doty said of Oregon. "I think they play like (they do) in Philly. It is a fun pace, it is a different challenge for us and we handled it pretty well."

Doty, a fifth-year senior who has overcome multiple knee injuries, provides a steadying influence for the Huskies.

"It was a mentality," Doty said. "I just wanted to have a solid game coming off a great win (over Stanford) and ending this trip the right way

"It is an unbelievable experience to have another year to play and for it to develop the way it is developing so far. I am loving the team, loving what I am doing. We keep growing every single day and we are having a lot of fun doing it. To have a fifth year and be able to accomplish the things we have been accomplishing it is amazing."

Nobody is happier to see Doty playing well than UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

"I don't know what makes me happier, the fact that Caroline is playing great, contributing a lot or it shuts up all the idiots who wonder why she is starting, why she is playing so many minutes and somebody else would be so much better than her," Auriemma said. "It is doubly rewarding for me because I have a lot of confidence in her as a person. She might play poorly, she might play well but I know as a person and from a leadership standpoint how much she has overcome and how much it means for her to be a good player at Connecticut, what it means to her to finish her senior year on the right note so anytime she can play a game like she played today I feel great for her."

An added bonus for the Huskies was that freshmen Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson played 27 and 23 minutes respectively. Tuck finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, five steals, three assists and two blocked shots while Jefferson had 10 points, two assists and two steals.

Auriemma wanted to get them plenty of time as they both work their way back into the flow. Tuck missed two games with a bone bruise in her right knee and only played three minutes in her first game back. A stomach bug limited Jefferson to seven minutes in the last two games.

"For various reasons Morgan and Moriah have not been 100 percent. It has only been recently that I felt like that at some point we need to get these guys out on the floor and let's find out what they are made of," Auriemma said. "Certainly the Stanford game on their home floor might be the best place to play guys who haven't played a lot of minutes but going into tonight that was obviously the plan no question about that, we were going to get those two guys a lot of minutes."

Tuck was happy to not only play significant minutes but also play better than she has since averaging 10.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in the first six games of the season.

"I was glad I got the opportunity to be out on the floor a little bit more that usual and it felt pretty good," Tuck said.

"It is a little frustrating because coming from high school you are not used to that but at the same time I have to prove that I was out there on the court so I can't blame anybody except for myself. That comes with getting used to the system and just helped me (realize) I need to play harder, I need to take it a little more seriously and try to do my best every single time.

"I think it was more mentally, Yes, I had to sit out for a little while because of my knee and I think that kind of helped too, I got to watch a little bit but when I wasn't out there it was mental. The knee I had to sit out but a lot of it was me not playing as well as I can."

For those wondering why Bria Hartley only played seven minutes, I was told it was not injury or illness related.

Hartley missed badly on some shots she normally makes with ease and seemed out of sorts so Geno Auriemma went elsewhere with the minutes.

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