Geno on Saniya Chong's "phenomenal performance"
On Friday Geno Auriemma and Chris Dailey made the 2 1/2 hour drive to Ossining, N.Y. to check out his lone incoming freshman Saniya Chong lead her Ossining team against a Christ the King squad led by 2014 UConn recruiting target Sierra Calhoun.
While Auriemma was not able to comment on the record about the 30-point performance by Calhoun, he had no such restrictions when it came to the scintillating effort put forth by Chong. All the 5-foot-9 guard did was score 29 points in the fourth quarter alone in a 89-84 victory.
"She didn't score in the first quarter," Auriemma said. "She was not feeling good, she had a stomach virus so they played 32 minutes so in (24) minutes of basketball she scored 46 points. We are talking about in a game that was a one-point game, a tie game back and forth the whole game. She couldn't buy an outside shot, she is usually a great 3-point shooter so what she did was she just took the basketball and said 'I am going to drive this thing to the rim, you either foul me or get out of the way.' Most of the time they tried to get out of the way but they fouled her anyway. It was incredible. At one point she was 2 of 6 (from the free-throw line) and in the fourth quarter she didn't miss one - she made them all. It was an unbelievable performance in a great game against another great team in a great environment. It was almost like the other team said this is what we are going to do, everybody knew she was going to get the ball, everybody knew what she was going to do and she did it any way. It was a phenomenal performance, it really was."
Chong finished with 46 points despite only making one 3-pointer. She was 17 of 21 from the free-throw line and added seven rebounds, 12 assists, five steals and two blocked shots in the game. She is averaging 35.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 4.4 steals per game.
Auriemma also reacted to the news that former UConn star Rebecca Lobo is one of 12 women's basketball nominees for the Naismith Hall of Fame.
"There are a lot of people (in the Naismith Hall of Fame) and don't get me wrong they deserve to be in there but certainly don't deserve to be in there more than Rebecca does not just her playing career here or her playing career that was shortened in the WNBA but her contributions to the game, what she has meant to college basketball and the WNBA. I hope this is the time but I have no doubt her time will come."