Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

UConn flexes its muscles in win over Houston

Considering how much Houston has struggled in the rebounding department and in keeping teams from scoring inside, it was only natural that UConn would feed the ball into the post early in often in the showdown between the first and last-place teams in the American Athletic Conference.

The Huskies were able to score at will in the lane in the early going and by game's end UConn had its top margin of points in the paint in the 85-26 victory by outscoring the Cougars 62-8 in the paint.

"We are not a team that tries to identify one player than we normally would do so," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We took enough 3s, we just didn't make any of them (finishing 3 of 17 from 3-point range). We probably would have taken more if some of them went in but it was just the type of game where it was available to us so we took advantage of it."

Stewart finished with 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting, Tuck had 12 points and Kiah Stokes had six points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

"We had the height advantage and we wanted to be aggressive," Stewart said.

The importance of the male practice players sometimes flies under the radar but UConn has made it a point of recognizing them when they can. Well that time was tonight when they were introduced before the game for their contributions.

"They have done a lot for this program and they are best team we are going to face every single season and that is every year I have been here," Stewart said. "They work just as hard as we do. They are guys, when you have guys who can play basketball, it is a different level. It is not like they never picked up a basketball before, they know how to play."

If his track record counts for anything, first-year Houston coach Ron Hughey will turn the program around. He has had success at multiple stops as an assistant coach and has earned a reputation as a first-rate recruiter.

While Auriemma hasn't been on the wrong end of an 85-26 score at any point during his time at UConn, he was asked after the game if he even put himself in the place of the teams being crushed by his squad.
"There are times when I felt the frustration and I can remember where we were, who we were playing and who we were playing," Auriemma said. "When you feel that frustration that no matter what we do tonight, we are not going to win, no matter what we try it is not going to work. I have been there and it is just a really demoralizing kind of feeling. As a coach it makes you stand up straight and say 'OK, if I am in this business I have to learn to put up with it.' This is Ron's first year and he has some work to do so when you are in that situation you look at it and say 'all right , the next time we play those guys it is not going to be like that. I don't know what it is going to be but it is not going to be like this.' That is the way I took it while I was in that situation (of suffering frustrating losses). I was young and I thought I could fix anything and take care of anything. If that happened to me right now I would probably choke myself on that microphone . I don't know if I could deal with it today."


Anonymous Joe said...

Despite the score, I was impressed with Houston's composure during the second half. They kept running their offense and scored on some nice plays.

11:44 AM 

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