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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Early Second-Half Run Keys UConn victory

Breanna Stewart described the first half of Wednesday night's DePaul game as Huskies playing as if their heads had been cut off, her Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma used the word "insanity" for what he was witnessing.

During the halftime break he implored them to take a collective deep breath and stop trying to get into a game of "H-O-R-S-E" with the Blue Demons.

Right on cue UConn opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run en route to a hard-earned 86-70 victory.

"There was one time that I didn't know what to say," Auriemma said after the Huskies won their 42nd game in a row, "I just turned around and said this is crazy, this is complete insanity. It reminded me a little bit of the Dayton game. I even lied to them one of the time saying that they are not going to make all of them (3-pointers)."

DePaul seemingly couldn't miss at times, making nine 3-pointers in the first half and the 13 treys they made are the most the 5-0 Huskies have given up.

Taking a precarious 44-41 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Huskies came out and finally got some breathing room by opening the third quarter on a 9-0 run.

"They way they were pushing the tempo, we were doing it right back instead of taking our time," said UConn senior forward Breanna Stewart, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds.

"(In the third quarter we were) staying composed offensively and defensively and not taking the first shot we had. We wanted to make sure we ended this trip on the right note."

Back in 2008 UConn got into a similar style of game against DePaul and needed some late heroics from Maya Moore to escape with a one-point win. Auriemma was relieved that there were no late-game drama on this night.

"Make a couple more passes, make them stay on defense a little bit longer, limit how many times we have to rebound," Auriemma said. "The thing that you worried about in games like this is DePaul played with so much emotion in the beginning of the game and it lasted the entire first time. The last thing you want is for it is be a game in the fourth quarter, they take the lead and now we feel like we have a chance to win the game right now. Anytime we needed a bucket, we needed a rebound, we needed something good to happen, we made it happen."


Anonymous Joe said...

Great game from DePaul last night!

Really creative strategy by Coach Bruno as well. I loved how they really took it to the Huskies with no fear. That's the kind of game this team really needs.

You really have to give Geno credit for helping grow the entire women's game. Who are his assistant coaches on the US Women's National Team? (Doug Bruno and Dawn Staley). Which teams give UConn some of its biggest challenges? (teams coached by those two).

I was a bit disappointed though that Geno left Stewart in the game for the entire 40 minutes. It would have been good seasoning for the team to withstand that relentless pressure with her on the bench for a few minutes.

10:54 AM 

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