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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Huskies get back to work

Although head coach Geno Auriemma canceled Monday's practice at Gampel Pavilion, choosing to spend more time than usual breaking down the game tape from Saturday's loss to Notre Dame, some of the Huskies' top players simply could not stay away from the court for a second straight game.

For the 30-35 minutes between the end of the film session and the time that the DePaul men's basketball team got onto the court for its scheduled practice, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kelly Faris and Bria Hartley were hard at work trying to not only improve their games but also to start to process of washing away their individual disappointment.

Mosqueda-Lewis took about 200 3-pointers from the two spots she missed shots in the final 67 seconds, Faris summoned a 6-foot-3 male practice player to imitate Notre Dame's Kayla McBride and Hartley played some one-on-one defense with Mosqueda-Lewis. While we'll likely have to wait until the rematch with the Fighting Irish on Mar. 4 to see how much progress the Huskies have made, it is clear that the veterans on the team are planning to use the lessons from the first loss of the season in a positive way.

"I thought about it a lot since it happened and I probably still think about it until the end of the season," Mosqueda-Lewis said, "I will probably think about it for a long time. I am a shooter and you aren't going to make them all. I wanted to make that one (with six seconds to play) but unfortunately it didn't fall for me. I am going to keep practicing. I went out and shot that same shot for a long time today and made a majority of them. It just sucks that if I get the next chance I probably knock that shot in.

"I went out today after the lift and shot that same exact shot a bunch of times and I almost made every one. I know I can make that shot, nine out of 10 times I will make that shot. The way I missed it, it is the same way Coach (Geno Auriemma) tells me when I miss it in drills 'Kaleena, you can't ever be short.' In drills you think it doesn't matter but in that game maybe if I had shot that ball long maybe it would have been an easier rebound for my teammates to make and they would have put it back up."

Mosqueda-Lewis said she knew she shot was off the mark as soon as it left her hands.

"I don't know if I was too open or I just rushed it, I don't know what it was I just know it didn't go in," Mosqueda-Lewis said.

Faris originally started out by hoisting up some shots before realizing that it was her defense which needed to be addressed.

"It is still frustrating. I still sit there and think 'I could have done this, I could have done this. Why didn't I do this?'" Faris said. "I still think that about all the other games I have lost since I have been here especially last year in the Final Four, the year before that in the Final Four. Those things don't go away and we have said it 1000 times after every game we lost, yeah I could sit here and pout about it and I could be ticked off. Like with every other loss, you have to learn from it and you can't just sit there and saw we learned from it, it is going to show up tomorrow whether we really wanted to make a change and we actually did learn from it.

"I figured out what I struggled with in the game and that is what I worked on. I put up a few shots and I thought about it and that is not really not what killed me in the game, yes I missed shots but what killed us was their scoring - McBride killed me. I had a practice guy come out and try to come out and simulate other ways, figure out ways I had to defend her, some full court, some half court In my mind I know the different ways I needed to play it."

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