Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stewart returns in impressive fashion

The record will show that Breanna Stewart's return to game action after sitting out the last two contests came with 16:02 remaining in the first half of last night's win over Syracuse.

In reality, Stewart didn't look like her herself until a dazzling offensive stretch late in the game when she scored 12 of the Huskies final 15 points.

"I think I kept gaining momentum and gaining confidence," said Stewart, who had 12 of her 20 points in a span of 3:16. "It was nice to see the ball go through the basket. It definitely helps. Obviously I wasn't on the court the last couple of games and it was something I was really looking forward to do and coming out and playing so obviously when you make shots you are going to feel better."

In the last four games that she played Stewart struggling shooting the ball as she was 13 for 38 from the field.

Although she missed some shots that she probably would like back, UConn coach Geno Auriemma liked the shots that Stewart took - for the most part.

"Anybody who watches Breanna Stewart play can see that there are things that happen on the basketball court that she is able to do that is difficult for most people to do and when she is in an aggressive mode, like she was today in the second half especially," Auriemma said. "If Breanna goes out on the court and says I am going to go out and try to score 25 points today, it would be very difficult for her not to do that. The only thing that would hold her back is if she gets frustrated with herself and it kind of goes away. If she stays positive and decides I am going to score tonight, I would say that regardless of the level of competition and Breanna goes out on the court and say  I am going to try to score 25 points it would be very difficult for her not to do that.'

After tomorrow's game against Duke, UConn is off until playing at Cincinnati on Saturday so it will give Auriemma a chance to check out some prospects.

His first stop will be in South Carolina as he is expected to be in attendance when A'ja Wilson and her Heathwood Hall Episcopal squad hosts Orangeburg Prep on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5 Wilson has scored at least 30 points in her last four games and over the last five games is shooting nearly 80 percent from the field.

Assistant coach Shea Ralph missed Friday's practice but she had a good reason but she had a good reason as she was in Sparks, Nev. watching highly-touted junior guard Gabby Williams lead her Reed High team to an 85-61 win over Spanish Springs. Williams, one of the best players at the Nike Tournament of Champions, did not disappoint with 23 points, six rebounds, seven assists, six steals and three blocked shot. Unfortunately Williams was injured during Saturday's loss to Reno.

Williams is an intriguing prospect. During the summer she competed in the high school at the U.S. Olympic trials. She ended up finishing fifth by clearing 6 feet, 2.25 inches which tied the national record for a high school sophomore set by the legendary Amy Acuff.

It will be an interesting recruiting process for Williams who has stated her desire to both play basketball and compete in track and field in college as well as focusing her attention on making the 2016 Olympic team when she is a sophomore.

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