Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

USF's top scorer won't be lonely on Saturday

The players come and they go but the one constant in the UConn women's basketball program is the ability to play relentless, suffocating defense especially on the opposing team's top scoring option.

This year is certainly no different. I did some quick checking and of the top 10 scorers in the Big East (counting all games) the only one to make as many baskets as she missed against UConn is Pittsburgh's Asia Logan.

With Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis ranking third in scoring, Smith coming in fourth and with a tie for 10th between Notre Dame's Kayla McBride and Brianna Kiesel of Pittsburgh, UConn has faced nine players among the top 10 in the Big East in scoring.

Reigning Big East Player of the Year Skylar Diggins went 4 for 15, DePaul's Brittany Hrynko missed all 15 of her field-goal attempts, Dayeesha Hollins of Cincinnati was 2 for 11 and Kiesel was 4 of 22. When the numbers are crunched, the top 10 scorers in the league are shooting 30.7 percent against the Huskies.

The Huskies will look to do the same against Smith who has seven 20-point games and scored more than 30 points three times.

It will not be a surprise to see senior Kelly Faris get the first shot at slowing down Smith.

"What ever team it is, that is a personal challenge I take on for sure and have been (doing so) since I got here," Faris said. "When I got here as a freshman that was pretty much my role, come in and be a spark defensively. I think a few other people on the team are going to pick up that challenge.

"Kaleena (Mosqueda-Lewis) has been good for us and that has really helped me out a lot, the way that we play defense every guard ends up playing every single guard and the fact that we can rely on her so much more to guard the best player on the team, that is huge. There are a few others that are coming along. I know Moriah (Jefferson) is getting out there and she has a little pest on defense so when we have more players who are willing to really put that much effort into the defensive end, that helps out a lot."

UConn annually brings in some of the nation's best offensive players and it doesn't take them long to figure out that you either learn to play defense the UConn way or you don't play.

"If you don't pick it up fast enough you are going to stand out and you are not going to play," Faris said. "There is no point of putting somebody on the floor who is not going to play both ends."

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