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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Freshmen debut for UConn

The future of the UConn women's basketball program was on display during today's 115-26 exhibition game win over West Chester and at first glance, the freshmen class looks pretty impressive.

Kia Nurse, who had 12 points, two assists and two steals, was the first of the freshmen to check into the game. Less than 2 1/2 minutes later in came Gabby Williams. The final 3:26 of the first half featured Nurse, Williams and Courtney Ekmark playing together while fellow rookie Sadie Edwards joined them for the final 100 seconds of the opening half.

"It was a great atmosphere to play in," Nurse said. "It was a lot of fun to finally get on the floor.
"We have a good time off the court and we have an even better time on the court and it was really fun to play with the freshmen."

Williams led UConn with five offensive rebounds as she finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Ekmark hit two of UConn's 10 3-pointers to finish with eight points while Edwards added two rebounds, two assists and a steal.

"They are all very different from each other in so many different ways. I guess that is really good," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I guess the trick is to find whatever you are good at and try to maximize that. Each of them has skills that help them and each of them has things that they need to be careful with. It is early. I don't think I would feel good if three of them were in the game at the same time, I don't know if we would beat a really good team with three of them (playing together) but here and there different combinations maybe, if we have them out there with the right people."

Nurse is viewed as a combination guard with the ability to play point guard or play off the ball. Ekmark is a stone-cold shooter who will make a living on the wing, Edwards is a true point guard while Williams' incredible athleticism has her playing inside.

While all four players had their moments, the on-court chemistry between Nurse and Williams was hard to miss.

"I think we both know how each other run and we have great chemistry off the court," Williams said. "We communicate very easily so it makes it easy to play with her on the court."

Williams admitted to being a little surprised when she found out UConn was looking at her to potentially help out inside since she has been a perimeter player for her entire life.

"I've been doing both post and guard drills but the last couple of practices, I have been in the post," Williams said. "It is a big adjustment but coaches have taken extra time out with me."

It was the first game for Williams since her senior season at Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada ended with a torn ACL in January.

"It was fun," Williams said. "It was my first real game since getting hurt so it was fun going up and down the court."

Moriah Jefferson led UConn with 19 points, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, Breanna Stewart chipped in with 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. Kiah Stokes and Saniya Chong got the starts at center and shooting guard for the graduated Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley. Stokes had 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots while Chong had 11 points and three steals.


Anonymous klever said...

Come on, Jim, readers want to know a little more about the new members of UConn.
How Kia Nurse, Gabry Williams, Sadie Edwards and Courtney Ekmark are developing their skills?
In previous years, New Haven Register published frequent articles on the players that just came to UConn. Why you are not doing it now?

9:13 AM 

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