Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Nurse pointing the way to UConn's success

On the surface it was a rather meaningless play in yet another routine conference victory.

However, when Kia Nurse saw freshman Kyla Irwin sprinting the floor to put herself to score in transition she instinctively gave a point of encouragement to her younger teammate.

After the Huskies' 91-42 win over Houston I asked Nurse about her supportive gesture.

"The pointing thing is something I learned with the national team and they would always point at me when I was the young guy," Nurse said. "It is definitely a confidence boost, just an acknowledgement that 'great run' she ran the floor really well on that play and just having that acknowledgement, having the confidence, having them understand that they can come in and make a positive impact in some way is important for us."

Irwin has scored a career high seven points in each of the last two games. The production has come well after the game has been decided but production is production and there have been some promising signs from Irwin and some other reserves.

The bench figures to be even more productive with freshman Crystal Dangerfield expected to play in Wednesday's game at Temple after missing the last five games due to a stress reaction in her left foot. She went through drills before the Houston game looking like somebody who was ready to play.

"Taking Crystal out of our equation really hurts us because she is somebody that when we bring her in, we are not sacrificing anything," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "She is going to be able to score and she is going to be able to make things happen for others as well. We need her back and that automatically make our bench production much better. *(Against Houston),they were not bad but I would like to see a little more of that."

Temple suffered its first conference loss despite rallying from 16 points down in the fourth quarter and having multiple chances to either tie the game or take the lead in the final minute in a 55-51 loss to South Florida.

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