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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

UConn overcomes sluggish first half

Beginning with the 114-68 win over Oregon on Nov. 20, UConn has pretty much scored at will even though the Huskies are down to seven healthy full scholarship players. However, it didn't take long to realize it wasn't going to be quite that easy against Ohio State.

UConn was 7 of 19 from the field at one point before pulling away for a 70-49 victory.

"The way we started the game, we are definitely not satisfied with that," UConn guard Bria Hartley said.

Hartley and Brianna Banks were the players who made the shots late in the first half and early in the second half to give UConn plenty of breathing room.

"Basketball is a funny game, we have five guys, three of them are doing one thing and two of them are doing something different and it looks lousy," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We really did a poor job today of playing 5 on 5. Usually when we move without the ball it is real intelligent and today it wasn't real intelligent. We usually cut and we cut pretty hard, that opens up a lot of things and in that first half we didn't do that. Today was a struggle and this wasn't exactly Oregon that we were playing. Ohio State is going to hold the ball for 30 seconds every possession so they are going to make it that kind of game, it wasn't going to be a 100-85 kind of game for sure so part of it is the style of opponent. There were just enough times during the game when we got out and did what we wanted to do."

The win means that UConn continues it streak of dominance in regular-season tournaments. It was the 53rd straight win for UConn in an in-season tournament and 18th straight tournament title. The last time UConn lost in such an event came in the Hilton Head Super Shootout with a 57-37 loss to Vanderbilt.

"I got thrown out of that game, that is why we lost it. We were losing by a lot and that is why I got thrown out," Auriemma said.

"The thing that we talked about it you have to learn to play in games that mean something other than just a 'W'. Thursday night when we play UC-Davis, it is a game where you are playing for a W on your record and there are other times when it isn't a national championship, ACC or AAC, Big 12, whatever league you are in you are going to have a chance to win a championship, you have to recognize that and treat it a little bit differently. When there are trophies, you want to be there standing in line getting them."

Next year UConn is planning to play in an event in Naples, Fla. over Thanksgiving. UConn has been given assurances that the level of competition will be better than when the Huskies rolled by Boston University, St. Bonaventure and Monmouth at home. At least one top-10 caliber team is expected to be in the tournament along with UConn.

UConn has the contract and once the legal stuff it taken care of, UConn will sign the contract.

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