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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Faris gets a long look; Okafor makes pro debut

Former Hopkins star Lauren Okafor had four points and four rebounds
in eight second-half minutes in her first game with the Atlanta Dream
Yesterday's WNBA doubleheader in Louisville was billed as a homecoming for former Louisville stars Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel but it was also a chance for a pair of players with Connecticut tie to take a step towards making the opening night rosters for their respective teams.

Former UConn standout Kelly Faris, in a fight to make the Connecticut Sun, certainly got a chance to show what she could do as her 22 minutes matched Alex Bentley for the team-high total in a 76-68 win over Indiana. Faris finished with four points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals and a blocked shot. Faris received at least twice the amount of playing time of the other players vying for the final roster spot as Kayla Pedersen played 11 minutes, Didi Simmons and Inga Orekhova played seven minutes each and Alyssia Brewer did not get into the game. It can be risky reading too much into playing time in preseason games because in the exhibition games the Sun will be playing on Wednesday and Thursday could see a totally different allotment of minutes.

The second game featured a dominating win by Washington over the Atlanta Dream as former UConn stars Bria Hartley (14 points, four assists), Kalana Greene (10 points, five rebounds) and Stefanie Dolson (10 points, four rebounds) were the only Mystics scoring in double figures in the 79-55 victory. McCoughtry and Schimmel were a combined 4 for 25 in the game although Schimmel did assist on the first professional basket by former Hopkins star Lauren Okafor.

Okafor, a third-round pick in last month's WNBA Draft, had four points and four rebounds in eight minutes for the Dream. Okafor checked into the game with 5:06 left in the third quarter and within 21 seconds had grabbed a pair of rebounds.

The news wasn't as good for a couple of other state natives as Stamford's McKenna Frank and Ridgefield's Meaghan O'Hara were among the players cut as USA Basketball whittled down a roster of 149 players trying out for the U-16 team to 70. There should be more cuts today before the team playing in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship is announced tomorrow morning. UConn commit Andra Espinoza-Hunter is among the prospects still in Colorado Springs vying for a national team spot.

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