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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Moriah Jefferson makes most of her first start

                                                                               (Associated Press photo)
UConn freshman Moriah Jefferson had 12 points in her first career start.
Geno Auriemma is still in the experimental stage in the quest to find his fifth starter, something not quite normal operating procedure at this time of the season.

Coming into Sunday's Big East quarterfinal game against DePaul, the only Huskies not to start at least one game this year were Brianna Banks and Moriah Jefferson. Banks is sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL (which will be operated on later this week) and for Jefferson, her time came on Sunday night.

Fellow freshman Morgan Tuck had started the last two games as the Huskies wanted to have the size to match up with Notre Dame. With games against perimeter-dominated teams DePaul on Sunday and Syracuse on Monday, Auriemma thought it would be a good time to give the speedy Jefferson a chance to show what she could do as a starter.

"She is going to have to play and play well and it is getting more difficult to get her in situations that are comfortable for her," Auriemma said. "If you bring her off the bench and we have the lead it is easy. If you bring her off the bench and we are struggling, that is difficult and that is what happened in the Notre Dame game. So the best way to make sure she is in the game when it still means something but it is a little bit of both. The first couple of minutes, OK and then after that, really good."

Jefferson got the quick hook as she was pulled just 2:21 into the game. When she came back into the game, she seemed to rid herself of whatever case of the jitters that she was dealing with at the opening tip.

"I just calmed down," Jefferson said. "It was basketball and I played it all my life and it is nothing new, it is just a different situation."

After the nervous start, Auriemma liked what he saw from Jefferson and seems to be open to starting her again.

"Everybody's got a specific role to play on our team and one of the thing we tried to impress upon on Moriah is your body type and what God gave you, that is how you can help your team so if you are the quickest player out on the floor then those are the types of plays out on the court that you have to make," Auriemma said. "She made a couple great plays tonight that only she can make with her quickness and she took advantage of those skills. There were a lot of times where we were really disappointed in Moriah because she has all his talent, all this quickness and she would never use it in practice, never a little bit, not medium, not a lot. She probably got done more in this game tonight than she has in a long, long time."

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Anonymous Joe said...

The only teams that have seemed to be trouble for us this year are those with a quick, aggressive point guard who drives the lane past our defender. Moriah really has to step it up so that she is in the game as a defender to help slow down their drives.

9:26 AM 

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