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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

UConn thrived off electric atmosphere at UC Davis

The number of records that the UConn women's basketball program has set over the last 20 years simply are too numerous to list. However, last night's win at UC Davis, was a reminder of the glory days when the Huskies would set attendance records seemingly whenever they would go on the road.

Geno Auriemma didn't pull out his favorite line of "the circus is in town" which he has used countless times when describing the atmosphere when the Huskies hit the road. He was clearly thrilled to be a part of the largest women's basketball crowd in the history of The Pavilion, a building that opened in 1977.

"I heard the public-address announcer talk about this is the largest crowd they have ever had in here for a women's game," Auriemma said. "You know how I feel when we walk into the building and that is the case. I think that is great for women's basketball, it is great for the home team. I always wish they would play really, really well so a lot of people will come back. We enjoy being in that environment. The hardest thing is to walk into the gym and there are 300 people in the gym, you feel like you'd rather be in a gym practicing. But when you walk into a gym like this, the energy level is there and it is exciting to know what it going on, it gets our juices flowing too."

Both teams were clearly fired up at the outset. In the opening 3:38 the teams combined to make six 3-pointers in the opening 3:32. Seven of the first eight shots attempted were 3-pointers and seven of them found the bottom of the basket. Had the teams kept up the frenetic early pace the final score would have been 213-142.

The Huskies continued to connect from downtown tying a program record with 18 made 3-pointers with Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis making a record-tying 10 of them.

"When a team like UC Davis is playing like they did you just try to take advantage of those open shots you get," Mosqueda-Lewis said.

"It is fun when it is going to be competitive and they (UC Davis) aren't going to give up."

Mosqueda-Lewis led the way with 30 points but had plenty of help as Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson, Morgan Tuck and Kiah Stokes teamed with Mosqueda-Lewis for 75 points, 23 rebounds, 23 assists, seven steals and five blocks. All of those totals topped the output for the entire UC Davis team.
"It is not anything new to them so I would have been disappointed if those five had not handled themselves as I thought they should and they did," Auriemma said. "Given all that they have been though in their careers at Connecticut, I would think they would relish an opportunity like this."

Another key performer in the game was freshman Kia Nurse. UC Davis was 3 of 6 from the field with no turnovers in the first 4:08. During the first 4:42 that Nurse was in the game the Aggies committed four turnovers and were 2 of 8 from the field.

"She is a pretty aggressive kid and she doesn't hesitate," Auriemma said of Nurse. "She is a little bit older (basketball wise) than a lot of freshmen, she has more experience than most normal freshmen and she gives us something coming off the bench. I was not happy with Saniya in the beginning of the game. It is like everybody that Saniya goes near makes an open 3 because they are open and by the time she gets there the ball is already gone. We knew that once Kia got into the game for us that things would change defensively and they did and then Saniya got a lot better. It is funny how that works as the game went on defensively. Kia is different, she is not like most freshman, the kid has something special in her."


Blogger James Kerwin said...

Kia Nurse is a good player with good instincts--Geno trusts here, that's important.
It has been said,elsewhere, that Saniya may be the focus of Stanfords defense. She's a good ball handler, and with Geno pointing out her lack of 3 ball defense, that shouldn't be and issue. I look for a good game from her, Gabby, Nurse, Ekmark and the Normal high flyers of Uconn's subduing squad.

2:30 PM 

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