The huge games enjoyed by freshman Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson on Saturday during UConn’s 65-45 win over Rutgers seem to bode well for what the Huskies can expect from them Monday night when No. 1 Baylor comes to the XL Center.
Both teams are 24-1.
Tuck, who has been battling right knee discomfort since before Christmas, scored 15 points with five rebounds in 26 minutes. She hadn’t scored that many since a career-high 16 points against Wake Forest at the Paradise Jam on Nov. 22. Her minutes fell one shy of her career-high at Oregon on Dec. 31.
Jefferson played a career-high 30 minutes with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Bria Hartley was limited to the first four minutes because of illness, according to Geno Auriemma.
“I’m ready to play 30 minutes whenever they ask me,” Jefferson said.
Both are looking forward to playing against Baylor for the first time, especially dealing with 6-8 center Brittney Griner.
Tuck was a junior at Bolingbrook High in Chicago, and in attendance two years ago when UConn beat Baylor, 65-64, at the XL Center.
“I am very excited about playing against her,” Tuck said. “I’ve never played against anyone 6-8 in my life. I got to watch her play a lot, especially the night UConn played Baylor. That [the win] was the deciding factor for me in terms of coming to UConn. Now to actually be in a game against her … I can’t wait.”
Jefferson, a native of Texas [as is Griner] played with her when she was in 8th grade in AAU.
“It was amazing. I would just throw the ball up to the rim and watch her do her thing,” Jefferson said. “We had a lot of fast breaks open dunks when we played together.”