There is quick. And then there is the quickness UConn freshman guard Moriah Jefferson displayed Wednesday at Georgetown.
The point guard had a flashy game against the Hoyas, partly thanks to the season-high 27 minutes she received from Geno Auriemma during the Huskies’ 75-48 win at McDonough Arena.
Jefferson used them well with nine points, seven steals, six rebounds and two assists. And she seemed to be everyone on floor in the process, which impressed Auriemma.
“I thought Moriah was the star of the day,’’ Auriemma said. “She was probably the most consistent player we had. When she can play like that it creates a lot of good things for us. She can turn defense into offense pretty quickly. And then, if she’s making a couple shots, that is [a bonus].
“We saw the real Moriah Jefferson today. And she’s only to going to get better from there, I hope.”
Like most freshman, Jefferson has had her highs and lows. Fighting a stomach virus recently caused her to play a minimal role in three of the four games before Georgetown. She played a combined 14 minutes against Hartford, Stanford and Notre Dame.
Her only double-figure scoring games have come against Marist and Oregon (10 points each), but more importantly her assists and steals have not been high (22 and 12 before Wednesday).
Jefferson made 4 of 9 shots against the Hoyas, but what more impressive was that she didn’t turn over the ball. And UConn had 19.
“She has a huge impact when she does that,” Kelly Faris said. “Our offense stems from our defense and when we get steals that’s huge for us. So when Moriah plays like that, it’s pretty big for our team.”
The turnovers almost matched UConn’s season-high (20) against Penn Stare. Both Faris (four) and Stefanie Dolson [a career-high seven] had trouble with the ball. What was also impressive about Jefferson’s performance is that she did not commit a turnover.
“I think that I just haven’t been myself,” Jefferson said. “If I play nervous, or tentative, it’s not good for me or the team. So I tried to come out and play different from what I’ve been doing. I just stopped thinking so much and played. I just calmed down, tried not to go so fast.”
Faris Moving Up WNBA Charts
Mike Thibault, the Washington Mystics coach and GM, has always been a huge fan of Faris, who came into Wednesday’s game second in the nation in assist/turnover ratio. On Thursday, the former coach of the Connecticut Sun said he’s been told Faris has climbed as high as No. 7 among some WNBA draft charts, which would make her a mid first-round pick in April.
UConn’s 41 three-point attempts are a program record, breaking the one (40) they recently set against Oakland this season. …Auriemma’s not-so-subtle dialogue about what he perceives to be an inequity in how fouls are called in his games continued Wednesday. “The number of fouls that seem to be called on a regular basis is troubling me,’’ Auriemma “And we keep playing these teams that don’t foul. So at some point we’ve got to find a team that fouls so that we maybe can even it up a little bit. But we just seem to be fouling a lot more than everybody else. So I know we need to fix that. That’s got to be cleaned up.’’
UConn was called for 17 fouls on Wednesday to just eight for the Hoyas. The Huskies also had 17 fouls in the Notre Dame loss. Still, opponents have drawn more fouls (207 to 199) this season and UConn has been to the foul line more times (209 to 197).