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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

UConn's new Big Three delivers

When UConn was putting up the first 39 wins during a record 90-game winning streak the Huskies relied heavily on the offensive production from Maya Moore, Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery.

The Huskies could have a new "Big Three" emerging in the form of Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart. When Dolson and Mosqueda-Lewis had 25 points each (with Dolson scoring her 1,000th career point) and Stewart finished with 20 points, it was the first time three Huskies had 20 points in the same game since Montgomery, Charles and Moore accomplished the feat in the second round of the 2009 NCAA tournament against Florida.

It was pretty interesting to see it transpired. Dolson established a low and high-post presence early in the first and second half, Mosqueda-Lewis delivered many of her career-high tying six 3-pointers whenever Syracuse got back within range while Stewart dropped 12 points in a dazzling 3:16 stretch late in the game.

"We made a lot of good plays at timely spots," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "Maybe one of the most impressive things for me is Kaleena did something I was hoping she would start to do and she just took the ball and starting playing a little bit of  1 on 1. She was aggressive today beyond other times, she wasn't just content to catch and shoot a 3, she caught the ball and decided 'this is what I am going to do.' I bet it is surprising a lot of people how good a 1 on 1 player she is, how well she can get her shot off against anything and not just stand there and shoot the 3s and that was a big part of the run.

"I think we learned a little bit about each other too. One of the things I said in the locker room is three of our players scored 70 of our 87 points and I don' t think it is fair that every game we play that those three games are going to get 70 but it is nice to know that they can. Little by little we are starting to find out that if somebody doesn't have it one night somebody else will step up."

With a game against Duke on Monday it is a good time for the three stars to be feeling good about themselves.

"I thought it was cool  because we ave so many different threats on the court and the fact that we can almost take turns, it is almost what the other team is giving us," Dolson said. "It was me scoring a few times then Kaleena and then Stewie did. We just took what the defense gave us. I am really happy with what Stew did tonight with her first game back and we will get better from here."

The news wasn't all good.

Auriemma said that junior guard Bria Hartley rolled her ankle again during the game which resulted in her playing only 19 minutes and he looks at Kiah Stokes' right shin issues as something the team is going to have to deal with for the rest of the season.

"I know she (Hartley) rolled her ankle maybe two or three times out there today so maybe that was a part of it but anymore, I don't know but just chalk it up as just a bad day," Auriemma said.

"I think it is going to be one of those every day we come to Gampel and see what happens. I don't think there is going to b a time where she is 100 percent the rest of the season, it is just a matter of how much she can manage, some days it is gong to be better and some days it is going to be worse. We are going to have to go and play it by ear. If she comes and it doesn't bother her, if it is bothering her we can't play her but we won't know that because it is a day to day thing."

Auriemma also was not happy that the Huskies had 18 turnovers for the second game in a row. I asked him if it was a case of the players being too unselfish and passing up open shots (which happened quite often against Syracuse) in order to try to make a play for a teammate.

"I think there are a lot of kids at UConn who would be great teammates who I would love to have on our team but if they (stink) at passing the ball, you wouldn't want them because they are great teammates," Auriemma said. "We've got a lot of guys on our team being great teammates where they should be lousy teammates and complete passes, that would make me a lot happier."

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Anonymous Jimmy Butler said...

Doty has shot 2 FT in 67 FGA in 283 minutes.
Buck has shot 2 FT in 10 FGA in 74 minutes.

Stokes has 17 Blocks in 140 minutes.
Stewart has 25 Block in 332 minutes.
Dolson has 21 Blocks in 462 minutes.

Why the complaints about FT disparity?
UConn has shot 253 FT.
Opponents have shot 238 FT.

UConn has shot 414 3PT in 17 games.
24 3PT attempts per game with hardly a chance of FTA.

Identical Twins.
Doty has 44 Assists and 28 Turnovers.
Hartley has 45 Assists and 26 Turnovers.

Hartley has shot 18 of 60 from 3PT for .300 average.
Why does she have a green light with an injured ankle?
Legs and feet are needed for proper 3PT form.

Jefferson has shot 8 of 40 from 3PT for .200 average.
UConn cannot afford those clankers against Baylor or ND.

10:58 AM 

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