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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Tuck continues to deliver for UConn

Playing alongside a talent like Breanna Stewart makes it easy to get overshadowed but there is absolutely no way that Morgan Tuck can be overlooked with the way she is playing.

Tuck finished last season not only with 10 straight double-digit scoring games but making more shots than she missed nine times during that stretch with seven games with more assists than turnovers.

It is a safe to say she has picked up right where she has left off. Had she scored one more point against Nebraska, Tuck would be the only Husky to score in double figures in every game this season.

In the last six games Tuck has 102 points while shooting 67 percent from the field (75 percent from inside the 3-point line) with 20 assists and 10 turnovers. When I pointed out the irony to Geno Auriemma that Tuck, who dealt with so many injuries earlier in her career, is the only member of her recruiting class to play in every game this season as both Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson missed a game with a minor injury, he marveled at what she brings to the team.

"It is crazy," Auriemma said. "She is tough. Some of it is you have to be tough, you have to have some good luck, some good fortune which is always good but Tuck, she is the energizer bunny. She is always there at the end."

Tuck had 12 points in the first quarter, making all four of her field goals and going 4 for 4 from the foul line in last night's win over Tulsa. She had 16 points at halftime and with the game a complete mismatch, only played six minutes in the second half. She still finished with 18 points. As is her custom, she was quick to credit the guards for feeding her the ball when asked about her impressive first quarter.
"I knew that we needed to have a good start with the stretch of games that we are about to have. I just try to make sure when I get the ball inside that I finish every layup so I just try to make sure I do that every game," Tuck said.

Kia Nurse just shook her head when the topic recently turned to her brother's first NHL fight.

Darnell Nurse is a tough customer so it is not surprising that he would drop the gloves to stick up for an Edmonton Oilers teammate but to initiate his first NHL fight against the rugged Milan Lucic of the Los Angeles Kings who came into the regular season with 61 career NHL fights between the preseason, regular season and postseason was certainly a challenging way to engage in his first scrap with the Oilers.

"He doesn't back down from anybody so it was good to show off his tough side for a minute," Kia Nurse said. "He could of (picked an easier first fighting opponent) but Nurses don't pick anything easy, that is the way we are."

When Katie Lou Samuelson made it back to California during the Christmas break, she was struck by how much things have changed. Usually she was the one at home waiting for her sisters to return home from college.

"It was fun, we (Katie Lou and her sister Karlie) were both home for a couple of days and it was cool," Samuelson said. "It was funny because usually I am the one who is home and it was Bonnie (a 2015 Stanford graduate) this time who was stuck at home."
There are few things that Auriemma values in players more than a passion for the game of basketball. When he was asked about incoming freshman Kyla Irwin recently becoming the all-time leading scorer in State College (Pa.) High School girls' basketball history, he couldn't help but rave about how hard Irwin competes.

"When kids get to be seniors they start playing their best basketball all the time so she has gotten a lot better," Auriemma said. "She's a kid who is going to be good no matter what. Is she going to be great? I don't know but she is going to be good no matter what because her enthusiasm for the game, her effort during the game, her energy level during the game there a very few kids like that. When you are like that, there is a very good chance that you are going to be a very good player."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know how to watch Sundays's game on tv? Does not look like it is being carried by SNY or ESPN.

12:05 AM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

Although the schedule grid doesn't currently show it, I've been told by UConn that the game will air on ESPN.

11:09 AM 

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