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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

UConn's Stewart making a run at U.S. roster spot

The United States and Canada engaged in an entertaining scrimmage on Sunday morning at Webster Bank Arena before returning to the court tomorrow night for an international friendly being televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m.

It was the first time I was able to see UConn freshman Kia Nurse, a member of the Canadian national team, play live so that was the focus of the story I filed for tomorrow's paper but I did catch up with UConn junior Breanna Stewart who is hoping to secure one of the 12 roster spots for the defending champion U.S. squad for the upcoming FIBA World Championship for Women.

Stewart hit a couple of early jumpers and finished with four points in the United States' 75-52 victory.

"I always want to play as best as I can but as it has gone on, I am getting more and more comfortable and today my shot started falling," Stewart said.

The selection committee will have some tough decisions as the roster needs to be cut from its current 24-player list (including seven players who competed in the WNBA championship series).

UConn and U.S. head coach Geno Auriemma is not on the selection committee but his opinion will certainly be known. He said nothing Stewart has done over the last week has surprised him.

"She's done what she has done," Auriemma said. "She has played well, she has done all the things that she does when she plays in college. I don't know is she has stood out more than anybody else."

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and former UConn star Sue Bird said Stewart's immense talent is pretty hard to miss.

"On paper as a player she has some skills," Bird said. "I think she can really establish herself and each day she has done a good job of that. It is all the things you might see in another player but she is 6-4. It is very difficult to guard her.

"This week has been really good for her to get her feet well, get established a little bit with all of us and get comfortable. We also go the hang out off the court and that kind of chemistry can help you off the court."



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