Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Star players live up to advanced billing for UConn, Dayton

Geno Auriemma has been known to say that this is the time of year when your best players need to be your best players.

Well, at the Times Union Center on Saturday, there was no question who the resident superstars are.

Breanna Stewart had 31 points (her highest scoring total in the NCAA tournament) to go with 12 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three blocked shots to lead the Huskies to a 105-54 win over Texas. The 51-point winning margin is the largest at the regional level in NCAA Division I women's basketball history.

"Breanna Stewart shot the ball really well today from every spot on the floor," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "She is a matchup nightmare and we don't have an answer for that. We knew that, we wanted to get Imani (McGee-Stafford) in to help and get our other players in to help so they can help in certain situations and it opened up things for other people."

Stewart missed her first two shots from the field and finished the game making 11 of 14. She scored by getting to the foul line eight times, making a pair of 3-pointers, scoring in transition and with mid-range jumpers. There was one stretch when she had a crossover dribble leading to a jumper and then hit back to back 3-pointers.
"I am making different shots whether it is in the post, on the outside and that is the kind of (balance) you (want) so we can have that inside/outside game," Stewart said.

For Dayton, it was Andrea Hoover who stole the show. She was 15 for 15 from the line (the most free throws attempting without missing at the regional round of the tournament). She had 26 points, five rebounds and five assists in an 82-66 win over Louisville.

Hoover went 6 for 6 from the line and also had a jumper after Louisville pulled within two points with 8:40 to play.

"At the beginning of the year we were kind of rushing our offense so one of the biggest keys is once we don't get anything in transition, to really ground it out and get the shot we want,' Hoover said.

"UConn is a great team and if you play against them in the NCAA tournament you know you went pretty far."

When Dayton arrived in Albany the story angle generating the most interest was head coach Jim Jabir promising to get a tattoo since his team reached the Sweet 16. Now it is the gritty play of a team that has knocked out second-seeded Kentucky and No. 3 seed Louisville.

"I thought the Kentucky (win) was the best day and now I think this is the best day," Jabir said. "In November if people said you are going to be in the Elite Eight, people would have laughed at you and maybe our guys would too.

It is about the journey and to have a group of people all fall in line, fight and trust for the same purpose. It doesn't even have to be in the Elite Eight, it could be a CYO team, or could be a knitting club and I am really proud of our guys."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dayton vs Goliath - except Goliath wins!

10:43 AM 

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