In many ways, Monday’s 95-51 was a day of replenishment for freshmen Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson to work their way back into the flow.
Tuck, who had played just three minutes since the Penn State on Dec. 6 because of a bruised knee, returned with 10 points and five steals in 27 minutes.
With the exception of her torn ACL after her freshman season in high school, Tuck had never missed significant time with an injury. This time, a bruised right knee limited to her to just 17 minutes in UConn’s last five games.
“It was someone what frustrating,” Tuck said. “You always want to be out there on the court. But you also have to think about what is bear for the team and if I can’t go out there at 100 percent, I am hurting the team.”
And Jefferson, limited to seven minutes in the last two games with a stomach ailment, scored 10 points with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes.
To make way for their minutes, Auriemma gave junior Bria Hartley just seven and freshman Breanna Stewart (four points, four fouls) only 12.
“It’s only been recently that I’ve begun to think that we need to get these guys [Tuck and Jefferson] on the floor so we can find out what they are made of,” Auriemma said.
“The Stanford game probably wasn’t the best place to use guys who hadn’t played a lot of minutes, but going into [Monday] there was no doubt that the plan was to get those guys a lot of minutes.