Huskies share the wealth against Friars
Nothing drives home that point any more than the fact that the Huskies had assists on 12 of their first 13 baskets with seven different players having baskets and while Kelly Faris, Bria Hartley and Caroline Doty each had at least three assists during that stretch.
"I was thrilled that the game started the way it did because the last time we went on the road (in a Feb. 2 game against St. John's) we were kind of sluggish," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We wanted to make sure we started off with more of an aggressive attitude and pushing the tempo as much as we could. I thought Bria was really good at finding people. When we are making shots like we have been recently, it is hard to keep up with us. I don't know how to describe it but when we are moving and the ball is moving at the same time that we are hard to keep up with."
Six players finished between 12-17 points for the Huskies led by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' 17 points and three other players had between 5-7 points. Even more impressively, all 10 Huskies who played in the game had assists.
Another stat that jumped off the page was that the Huskies attempted a season high 30 free throws.
"We generally don't get to shoot a lot of free throws against Catholic schools, tonight was an exception," Auriemma said in a not so subtle jab at the foul-shot discrepancy in games against Big East rival Notre Dame. "Maybe the Pope resigning had something to do with it, the officials are a little bit lax and weren't paying attention as much. Free throws are a function of how much you are moving. When you are standing
around a lot, you don't get to the free throw line. I thought we had really good movement, our cuts were
pretty sharp. We probably dribbled the ball into the lane as much as we have in a long time and I think
you need to put yourself in a position to get fouled. To me it is such an important part of the game that
you'd be silly not to try to take advantage of it and I'll be the first person to say I don't think we have
done as good a job with it as we have in past years."
AN EVEN 100 FOR FARIS
Keeping true to be unassuming nature, Faris turned a question into the significance of her starting her 100th straight game as a way to pay homage to Auriemma.
"I didn't know anything about it but thinking about that, it means a lot," Faris said. "It is nice to know that Coach (Auriemma) trusts you and the flip side of it is that it says a lot about him. He is a very trustworthy guy, respectful guy and somebody you don't want to let down so if you have somebody like that you are not going to want to do anything to disappoint him."
Renee Montgomery set the program record by starting 140 straight games, breaking the mark of 135 set by Jen Rizzotti. Rizzotti's total is all the more impressive considering that she started every game in her career. The only other UConn player with 100 consecutive games is Jamelle Elliott, who started 106 straight games. Sue Bird was in the starting lineup for 100 straight games that she played in but since she missed a game as a junior, it was not 100 straight games with a start for her.
Auriemma addressed Faris' consistency and reliability following the game.
"It is not easy to put into words all the time somebody's true contributions," Auriemma said. "The stat sheet and record book, that just tells one part of the story, Kelly, her contributions are so numerous that and the 100 starts in a row is most indictitive of how consistent, how reliable and how fortunate she has been to stay healthy and how committed she is to winning and doing whatever she has to do for the University of Connecticut."