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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, March 27, 2017

UConn rolls past Oregon to return to the Final Four

When a team wins its last 111 games including 28 straight in the NCAA tournament, sometimes it is hard to celebrate each and every game.

With a hard-driving coaching staff constantly pushing, the players' reactions after games don't always look like one from a victorious team. However, as the final seconds ticked off the Webster Bank Arena, the five starters were smiling from ear to ear as the Huskies return to the Final Four for a record 10th time in a row.

"It is a feeling that never gets old We've been there before but it never gets old," UConn junior forward Gabby Williams said.

Williams was her typical brilliant self with 25 points. Regional most outstanding player Napheesa Collier led the way to 28 points. Here are some numbers to chew on -

Collier has 96 points in this year's tournament while Williams has 85. I went through NCAA tournament box scores earlier today and they rank second and fifth in program history for most points through the regional round of the tournament. Diana Taurasi had 103 points in 2003, Barbara Turner had 91 in 2006 and Maya Moore had 87 in 2010.

The records don't stop there. Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are the highest scoring tandem in UConn women's basketball history.

Kia Nurse has 20 3-pointers tying the record for the most in one NCAA tournament (with either one or two games remaining). Betsy Harris had 20 for Alabama in 1994, Diana Taurasi of UConn matched that mark in 2003 and Maya Moore did the same seven years later.

UConn is now 152-1 since Saniya Chong and Tierney Lawlor arrived at UConn as they are the winningest class in women's college basketball history.

UConn set the NCAA women's Division I record for assists in a season. The Huskies have 852 topping the mark of 850 set two seasons ago.

Geno Auriemma is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history with 113 record breaking the mark of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

Sure I'm forgetting a few statistical notes.

Next up is the Final Four. UConn got the second of the semifinals which is likely to start around 10 p.m. on Friday against Mississippi State.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim -

Did you notice the teaching moment between Auriemma and Dangerfield after the game? Players had their tee shirts and were basically in a circle on the court, talking to each other.

Auriemma knows that Oregon was physically slow and Mississippi State is not. UConn needs Dangerfield to step up her game in the semi-final. Huskies also need her quickness on defense. Nurse is fundamentally sound on defense, but not quick.

Ever since her NCAA record 10 for 10 shooting performance, KLS has not shot well. Prior to that NCAA record game, KLS did not shot great. Are her legs to tired to get proper lift on her jump shots? Is her shooting elbow not high enough?

Gabby was the player of the game, not Collier. Gabby got UConn rolling, like she has often does. Both stuffed the stat sheet, but Gabby was more efficient on offense.

25 points on 13 shots for Gabby, 28 points on 20 shots for Collier. Gabby was on the bench in the 4th quarter when Collier scored her last 7 points, long after the game was over.

Nice to see ESPN recognize Gabby's overall game, while some voters apparently have not paid attention to her peformances. 5'11" defending both posts and guards. Point forward on offense. Rebounds and dribbles length of the court for a layup. Decent mid range shot around the lane.

6:14 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim -

As the #1 seed, undefeated UConn should be playing the first national semifinal on Friday night. They earned the right to scout Stanford versus South Carolina during the entire second half, instead of missing the end of game key plays.

Maryland has 2 All-Americans this season. But were unable to defeat a 13 loss Oregon team with 3 starting freshmen. Guess it takes 3 All-Americans to defeat Oregon. :-)

6:42 AM 

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