UConn Earns Shot At Monday’s Title Game

by Categorized: Big East women's basketball, Notre Dame women's basketball, UConn women's basketball Date:

Before UConn could think about Monday and Notre Dame it had to focus on Saturday and South Florida.

And for the first 15 minutes at the Sun Dome that required rubbing slumber from its eyes. The noon tip-off came less than 14 hours after its delayed charter flight landed in Florida.

“It was not an easy day for us [Friday],” Geno Auriemma said. “It was a quick turnaround. We were concerned about how we would conduct ourselves and we didn’t get off to a great start.”

But when you have Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Stefanie Dolson on your side sleep can be vastly over-rated.

UConn’s dynamic duo lifted the No. 3 Huskies to an 85-51 win over South Florida, a win that makes the regular-season finale at Notre Dame the most important in the Big East season. To the victor goes the regular-season title.

“They played like All-American type players,” Auriemma said.

Mosqueda-Lewis scored a career-high 32 points. She took a career-high 23 shots She tied a career-high with six three-pointers. And she added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Dolson tied her career-high with 25 points. She added 10 rebounds. She was 8-of-11 from the field and 9-of-9 from the foul line.

“I think it [the win] showed off our maturity,” Dolson said. “It definitely showed how focused we this late in the season. … We played the way we practice.”

And Kelly Faris grabbed six rebounds to join Maya Moore, a four-time All-American, as the only players in UConn history to score at least 1,000 points with 750 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals.

“As you know, stastistics really aren’t my thing, but it’s cool to be mentioned in the same sentence as Maya Moore,” Faris said.

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22 thoughts on “UConn Earns Shot At Monday’s Title Game

  1. It pays to be Ignorant

    It has been typical of Uconn this year to give the opponent a running start. It takes them 4 minutes to get their offense and defense going.
    Notre Dame will not play wide open defense like S.H., Pitt, USF. They will clog the lane and clog the post and hang on to KML like a new suit of rubber.
    But KML now has to step up and shoot while defended and get to the foul line.

  2. SID

    2 sets of rules by Geno again. One for Hartley (and Doty). One for sophomore and freshmen. Hartley played one of the worst games in UConn history. But Geno plays her 32 minutes. The others get yanked after one mistake and never get a chance to get into the flow. Take away Dolson’s 8-11 and UConn shot 19-53. KML even shot under 50%. Still waiting for Faris to again play like she did against Duke. Keep mentioning Faris in the same sentence with Maya all you want. They are light years apart. Faris is much to blame for UConn’s recent 1-6 record against ND as anyone. She knows it. Just ask her.

    1. Michael Keller

      Faris almost stole the national semifinal last year from Notre Dame singlehandedly.

  3. Mike

    Dolson and ML putting up big numbers looks good on the surface but unbalanced scoring have hurt them in the past and I fear it will happen again.

    1. V.I.

      Mike–I was wondering while watching the USF game whether KML and Steff “peaked” one game too early.

      1. Mike

        Hi VI, I was just concerned about Geno’s contradictory comment about one person not being able to carry this team, and on the other hand, KML should be getting even more points than what she has been producing. That was his philosophy with Maya Moore in a critical game in the past and it was just too much of a load for her to carry. It also creates the other players getting lazy on the floor. They will be facing much tougher defenses which will make it more difficult for anything other than a full team contribution.

      2. Jibber Jabber

        Faris peaked in the Duke game. Check her stats up to and including the Duke game versus after the Duke game.

  4. Internet Nanny

    Be thankful John does not run his blog like the Boneyard is run. You get booted off for stating the obvious about players performances. And you get bootd off for not conforming the opinions of those running he Boneyard. Adults never seem to grow up.

  5. Great and Powerful OZ

    Geno has said loud and often in previous years, like 5 years and beyond, ago that if a team relies on one scoring player (Ogowumike?) they are easy to shut down.
    Tuck was taken out to protect her from her 4th foul.
    Stewart was taken out after 4 fouls.
    I thought Jefferson played pretty good and hit a three.
    The BONEYARD sounds like what some bloggers would like to do, shut down opinions that differ from theirs or the current “we think”. Thankfully most bloggers here do not ascribe to not allowing diverse opinions. It’s good to disagree,but no one should be disagreeably (read nasty) about it.
    I am a UConn Fan and as such have hopes and beliefs, no matter how horrible, that Uconn will find a way to beat the Irish.

  6. TexasBogger

    On offense the Huskies now have next to no guard production. Doty is Doty but Bria HAS to snap out of it or trouble looms. With only two scorers the opposition will smother Dolson and KML. Pray for Bria.

    1. Master Mind

      Texas–Hartley will not snap out of the slump or physical pain or whatever is bothering her by monday. Geno and the team worked for 5 straight minutes to get Bria a shot that worked. The one hoop she made was called off for traveling. I think the team was working to get her out of her funk–but it continued.
      Let us hope beyond hope that the Real Kelly Faris shows up, Tuck get 5 good minutes, Stewart rebounds and put backs and plays defense.

      1. mike mcmanus

        I’m afraid that you’re right. I feel sorry for Bria because she’s lost it completely, beginning with the open layup she missed after the opening tip. Not only is she shooting bricks [sometimes missing the rim completely], but her ball handling has become careless. Several times today, defenders came from behind and knocked the ball out of her hands and she had passes deflected. This is not the same Bria that we remember from last year. She has to pick it up against ND so that she is a threat that has to be guarded. As someone stated before, ND will clog the middle and try to strangle KML so UCONN badly needs another option.

        1. Mike

          Bria will never play well again. Last year when she played well in a big game, Geno kissed her and she does not want that to happen again!

  7. Tulsa

    Stealing from the younger half of the Wiggins and Diggins future backcourt and successfuly making the ensuing layup with confidence might snap Hartley out of it. Or it might simply be a critical 3 by Doty on Monday that gets Hartley hitting the next 3.

  8. Pat

    Whatever happens Monday night happens, but thst doesn’t mean UConn hasn’t had a good season. Sure, Bria, Stewie and possibly Doty have hit a wall, but they will come back I am sure. You can’t keep a husky down for long. It may happen Monday night or in the Big East Tournament or in the NCAA tournament, but they will show their spunk and desire to win. But, win or lose, they are our Huskies and deserve our support. Go Huskies – all the way.

  9. Another Expert

    Every season, there are only 3 to 5 excellent teams in WCBB. So winning 20+ games is not that difficult for a team like UConn who recruits to win NC. Most teams don’t have enough talent to win their conference. Look at the conference domination by Stanford, Tennessee, and UConn. Altavilla, Elliott, and Fuller have front row views of the insane disparity in talent. UConn is 1-2 against the other 3 teams in WCBB that have equal talent. UConn might end up 4-2 or 5-2. On the other hand, UConn might end up 1-4, 1-5, or 2-5 against equal competition. That would be a disappointing season for Geno since UConn has two #1 recruits, one #2 recruit, and one #5 recruit. And since Geno bragged last season about UConn possibly not losing any games for 3 years. Geno set the bar. It’s not the young adults fault. It’s not the critics fault.

    1. Tom's Grandmother

      I bet your mother, wife, and daughter are very proud of you at this moment. You would be kicked off the Boneyard for that accusation and choice of words. Apparently this blog allows such language. Thanks for showing womens college basketball what great fans UConn has.

      1. Tom

        You’re right; I apologize.

        I should have said: UConn will beat the slovenly, dirty playing, graceless slobs at ND.

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