Stewart's monster game powers UConn past Cal
Stewart started off Monday's Duke game in similarly dynamic fashion but also had stretches were she was barely noticeable offensively. Obviously, UConn coach Geno Auriemma might have mentioned that fact once or twice this week.
This time when Stewart started to get rolling she did not ease up. Stewart matched her career high with 29 points and had she not sat out the final 12:49, there's no telling what her final point total would have been.
"The first 10 minutes was pretty ugly as a team," Stewart said. "Obviously we struggled getting things going and I was trying to be more aggressive just to help get the team going, help get some points on the board and I am happy everybody else followed "
Auriemma spoke in almost reverent tones about the talent that Stewart, the dynamic 6-foot-4 sophomore from Syracuse, N.Y., possesses following the game.
"We've never had anybody like her," Auriemma said. "We've had some of the greatest players to ever play college basketball and we have never had anybody like her.
LAWLOR SAVES BEST FOR LAST
There were some impressive shots made by UConn on Sunday afternoon, most of them delivered by Stewart. However, I don't think any drew the same exuberant reaction from the UConn coaches and players than the final one.
Freshman walk-on Tierney Lawlor connected with a 3-pointer with 18 seconds to play and as she delivered an emotional fist pump on her down the court, a huge smile came to the face of Auriemma and the star players on the bench rose together in unison in celebration of Lawlor's special moment.
"That is unbelievable isn’t it?” Auriemma said. “I looked up at the scoreboard and I thought maybe the score was 78-77 and that was the game-winner, because that kid acted like that was the shot of the century. And you know what? That is what sports are all about. A kid like that. You think that last year that kid was sitting at home going, ‘You know what? Next year at Christmastime, I am going to be at Madison Square Garden and I am going to knock in a three on my only shot attempt.’ You’ve got to be crazy. The kid is living a dream. God bless her, she deserves it, because she works her butt off every day in practice. The kids love her. The kids’ reaction was probably just as great as hers.”
"It was awesome," Lawlor said. "I was excited it went in. It was a great feeling."