Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Huskies piling up the steals

While much has been made about UConn being on a record-setting pace for 3-point shooting, at the midway point of the regular season the Huskies are also on a pace to set a program record for steals in a season.

The mark of 477 was set during the 1997-98 season when Rita Williams (107) and Nykesha Sales (98) combined for nearly half of them. Well, with UConn recording a season-high 18 steals in three of the last four  games, UConn is in position to making a run at that mark.

UConn has 193 steals in 15 games and if they keep going at this rate and advance to the Big East and NCAA tournament championship games, the Huskies would finish with 502 steals.

"That is the way our defense is and the way we need to play, get in the lane and anticipating every single thing the offense is doing," said sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, one of nine UConn players with at least 10 teams. "I think we have that mindset that we think we have to get every steal."

UConn coach Geno Auriemma credits the depth the Huskies have, especially in perimeter players, for able to be more aggressive in the way they play defense.

"If you put Kelly out there and you have Moriah, Kaleena has gotten pretty good at getting into the passing lanes, all it takes is a couple of guys out there to be disruptive, everything changes and the ball starts going in different directions," Auriemma said. "I think it is a different personality and mindset for our team this year than it was last year, the year before. We are probably going back to the late 90s. You have that (1997-98) team and you are talking about two of the best defenders off the ball that we've ever had and having those two and Shea (Ralph) and Sveta (Abrosimova) that it is a lot of guys taking the ball away.

It was a good news/bad news proposition for UConn in the injury department. While freshman forward Breanna Stewart remains listed as doubtful due to an ankle injury and seems like to miss her second game in a row, junior guard Bria Hartley was upgraded from doubtful to probable.

Hartley did not take part in a full practice but did functional drills and seems to be on track to play against Louisville.

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