Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Perimeter defense a major reason why UConn won tittle No. 10

Watching Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson drive by the UConn guards time after time back in November as Stanford handed two-time defending champions its only loss of the season it was impossible not to think that perimeter defense could be the team's Achilles' heel.

Fast forward to Tuesday night and it was rather evident how far the Huskies have come.

Notre Dame's Jewell Loyd and Lindsay Allen may be the most difficult backcourt tandem for defenders to keep in front of them. Yet, in the second half of the national title game Loyd was 0 for 8 from the field and Allen 1 of 6 in the second half.

Jefferson spent the majority of the second half chasing Loyd around the court, weaving in and out of screens.

"That was so hard," Jefferson said. "Right now my legs are killing me because she does a great job of cutting and moving. I was trying to deny her the ball and make her go back into the big guys so if I do get beat, they can (help)."

Nurse played a key role in keeping Allen, who had an outstanding NCAA tournament, from getting open looks.

"Allen's been playing really well in the tournament and we knew that,' Nurse said. "It was a matter of knowing her tendencies and that kind of thing. Moriah was really good on Jewell so that helped me out so then it was communication on the defensive end and the defense really came through."

Nurse and Jefferson outscored the Loyd/Allen duo 15-4 in the second half. Nurse, who had quite a large contingent of family members on hand including uncle Donovan McNabb, former star quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, which made the experience all the more memorable.

"This one is an incredible feeling and it is so hard to put words to it, I think, Nurse said. "You go through all of these things, all of these championships and they never get old. It is the team, the whole dream I've had with this team and I am really happy with the place I chose to go to school for the next four years.

"My siblings couldn't make it but my aunts and uncles are here. They support us and they will be the first ones to hop on a plane and see us play. To have them here and know they are cheering us on with their Canadian flags it is just a great feeling."

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Blogger James Kerwin said...

Fist and foremost I am an American Of Canadian Heritage for 400 years so I am proud of Kia Nurse, she was amazing on her shooting and drives.
I thought I was disappointed in Stewie until I saw the 15 rebounds
KML eye was scratched in the MD game and still bothered her. Stewie was right Jefferson should have been the MOP--Stoke like all year was a difference maker.
Hats off to a Great Notre Dame Team they will be back next year, Turner is the real deal, Mabrey is as good as KML, maybe better, Loyd is all they say she is, so is Allen, Riemer is very good, Cable too--

9:20 AM 

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