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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Geno Auriemma rips his team's effort after win over Tulsa

This is my 16th season as the New Haven Register's primary UConn women's basketball beat writer and if I were to rank the most annoyed I've seen Geno Auriemma after a game, it would be hard to top tonight's reaction.

Where do I start?

Auriemma said the fans should get their money back for having to sit through that and it was one of the most disgraceful effort from his time during his time with the Huskies and this came after an 18-point win.

"It doesn't bother me," Auriemma said. "I am beyond bothered, I see it every single day, some days we just hide it better than others. Give Tulsa all the credit in the world, they made shots, they were able to take the ball where we wanted to take it. We won because we have All-Americans and they don't, that is the bottom line.

"There are no more messages. I don't have a message for my team and even if I did, they wouldn't listen anyway. We got a team that does what they want to do when they want to do it how they want to do it and if they don't feel like it, they don't do it plain and simple."

The thing about Auriemma is that before he says anything to the media, he has said it to his players. The question is will the Huskies have an extra jump in their step when UConn travels to meet a struggling Temple squad on Sunday. I would say the chances of that happening being quite high,

UConn senior guard Kia Nurse did not want to share what the message was to the team after the game. Auriemma's response on the message was, "there are no more messages. I don't have a message for my team and even if I did, they wouldn't listen anyway. We got a team that does what they want to do when they want to do it how they want to do it and if they don't feel like it, they don't do it plain and simple."

UConn led 26-11 at the end of the first quarter as Napheesa Collier had 10 of her 19 points. When the second quarter started, he had a lineup consisting of Molly Bent, Mikayla Coombs, Kyla Irwin, Azura' Stevens and Megan Walker. Bent, Coombs and Walker played all 10 minutes in the quarter. The only starter to see playing time in the quarter was Collier who he summoned when he appeared to be unhappy with Stevens' defensive effort.

Tulsa and UConn managed the score 16 points each in the quarter. Stevens (seven points), Collier (five) and Walker (four) accounted for all of the Huskies' points. Walker's points all came from the foul line as Bent, Coombs, Lexi Gordon, Irwin and Walker were 0 for 9 from the field in the quarter.

"You are trying to save them from themselves, this is what they do every day in practice and trying to not expose them on the court so I am trying to help them," Auriemma said.

It would be stunning if there wasn't one rather fired up UConn team ready to take the court against Temple. However, it's uncertain if all of them will be able to take the court.

Katie Lou Samuelson was able to play today despite a black eye as a result of a elbow from a Texas player on Monday however she did not finish the game. Samuelson injured her ankle in the third quarter.

"The way she came off the court, it wouldn't surprise me if she doesn't play Sunday but we will know more tomorrow," Auriemma said.

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