UConn Rolls Over Texas A&M

by Categorized: UConn women's basketball Date:

Like a prized baker in his kitchen, Geno Auriemma uses the same recipe every year in the hopes of making something worthy of his discriminating taste.

It’s in the repetition; meshing, adjusting, cajoling and convincing them to defeat challenges on the way to No. 1.

For the last six weeks, Auriemma has been mixing his new group of ingredients. And Sunday he tossed it into one of the nation’s hottest ovens for women’s basketball, Texas A&M’s Reed Arena.

Two hours later, the No. 2 Huskies emerged well done, demolishing the No. 16 Aggies, 81-50, before 7,657 in their first road game of the season.

Next comes UConn’s anointing as the nation’s new No. 1. Thanks to Baylor’s loss to Stanford last week, the Huskies (2-0) should top the Associated Press’ Top 25 poll by the time they land in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands Tuesday.

“We’ve been 1, 2, 3, whatever,” Auriemma said. “It’s not really something we think about at this point.”

It was just the 11th loss A&M had suffered at home since 2005-06. And it was one of its worst. Two years from its first national championship, the Aggies (0-3) have lost to three straight Top 10 teams this season.

Ironically, UConn beat the Aggies by an almost identical score, 81-51, last year in Hartford.

The reason this time was in the lane, primarily the work of junior center Stefanie Dolson. Attacking the Aggies with a willful resolve, and now with the room she needs to roam, she tied her career-high with 24 points, shooting 11 of 15 in 29 productive minutes.

“She was unbelievable,” Auriemma said. “She was great.”

And most of them were poured with former UConn recruit Kelsey Bone trying to guard her. It didn’t go well for Bone, who scored eight points (3 of 7) with three rebounds and two turnovers in 25 minutes.

“We know all about the transformation that Stefanie has made physically,” Kelly Faris said. “Now she has such great energy and she is showing everyone what kind of impact she can have on this team.”

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Huskies were 32 of 57 from the floor, out-rebounded the Aggies, 40-28, and assisted on 27 of their 32 baskets.

Courtney Walker, one of the Aggies’ seven freshmen, led them in scoring with 20 points.

Dolson was 9 of 12 in the first half for 20 points. She played 18 minutes and cut incessantly to the hoop, taking passes from a variety of her teammates to score.

“I’m just trying to help the team run its offense,” Dolson said. “It’s possible for a center to do that, although you always hear about how it’s the guards who do that. I can see a lot of people from where I am. I know where people should be, what spots they should be in.”

IUConn (2-0) will begin play in the Paradise Jam on Thanksgiving against Wake Forest before taking on Marist (Friday) and Purdue (Saturday).

Even this early in the season it appears the Huskies and Aggies are moving in different directions. UConn’s three freshmen have played major roles in their fast start. Texas A&M’s seven freshmen have had it much harder in losses to three Top 10 teams – the Huskies, Louisville and Penn State.

One of the reasons is their poor shooting. They made just 31 percent (9 of 29) in the first half and scored nine of their 28 points from the line. They shot just 30 percent on Sunday, shooting 3 of 11 from three.

Meanwhile, UConn made its game plan clear. Running a series of plays and making a variety of cuts that opened spots under the basket, the Huskies opened their biggest lead, 25-12, with 9:33 to play in the half.

“We tried to fix some things in practice,” Auriemma said. “We know we are a good outside shooting, but [Sunday] we just made a concerted effort to get the ball into the lane.”

It was a relatively quiet day for UConn’s freshmen, who played such vital roles in their opening win over College of Charleston.

Breanna Stewart, who had 21 in her first game, picked up two early fouls and played just seven minutes in the first half. She saw more of the floor in the second half when she made two three-pointers and ended with 11 points.

Morgan Tuck (3 of 11, six points) missed all four shots in 10 first-half minutes. And Moriah Jefferson, playing in her home state, scored four points all on free throws with three assists and four rebounds in 21 minutes.

The Huskies started the second half by scoring eight of the first nine points in the 4:26 to take a 48-31 lead. They eventually went on an 18-3 run the pried open the game in a big way, the Huskies taking a 58-31 when Stewart’s three bounced around the rim and in.

“We came out in the second half and got our whole team going,” Auriemma said.

 

 

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12 thoughts on “UConn Rolls Over Texas A&M

  1. village idiot

    Doty,Dolson,Faris–the glue and the Jet engine that makes this team stick together and run fast. Breanna,tuck, M.Jefferson, Banks, Stokes, KML all are scary good. Dolson against (highly recruited by Uconn) Bone was almost a “no show” and could have been ejected with the flagrant foul she committed against Dolson. Jefferson was called for a foul in the first half then A/M player did a similar and more contact with no call. Home calls were big in this game.

    1. Christian-Muslim American

      Thankfully, Dolson was not injured on that cheap shot by Bone. Wonder how Doty is feeling after her fall.

  2. Christian-Muslim American

    Stewart learned a good lesson today. Top 25 teams have quicker and stronger athletes, even if they lack her talent. Dolson transformed her body since day one freshman year. Stewart can too, just in the opposite direction. If she does, Stewart could be POY her senior year.

    UConn is limited on offense when Faris, Jefferson, and Stokes are on the floor at the same time. That combination might get quickly out scored at Stanford and against Baylor. Against all other teams, not a problem.

    Beginning to wonder if Auriemma is saving Hartley just for the game at Stanford. Baylor proved what can happen against Stanford when an AA guard is injured and out.

    3 more blowouts for our Thanksgiving weekend. Go Huskies!

    Speaking of Thanksgiving, I would like to give Thanks to all those who have served in the US armed forces, are serving, and will serve. Thank You!

    Note to ESPN, it is NOT a big deal when a 6′ 8″ basketball player dunks. Did anyone hear the comment during today’s game that WCBB is about more than just dunks? Really, now. Pam and Peck are the worst.

    1. JR

      It’s not going to take until her senior year for Stewart to be POY. I’d suggest it’ll only take until her junior season due to the amount of depth the Huskies will have next year.

    2. Funny Guy

      I didn’t think the two religion concepts were compatible. From every thing I’ve read in the papers or saw on TV any Muslim who wanted to switch to Christiananity were being killed. Hope your way is working in the Eastern Muslim world.

  3. Kenny

    Wow what a difference in Steph Dolson,she’s improved
    every year she’s been here.She lost alot of weight over
    the summer and got toned up she wil be a force to be delt with for sure. Can’t wait to see how she dose with Griner this year.I was glad to see Stanford beat them
    and i don’t even like Stanford.

  4. Kenny

    The only reason stokes,Faris and Jefferson were on the floor together is because of the score. That won’t happen when they play stanford or baylor.

    1. Christian-Muslim American

      Stanford will once again get the homer calls when UConn visits.

      Stewart could easily pick up 2 quick fouls reaching in with her XL arms.

      Enter Stokes.

      Doty could pick up 2 quick fouls with her arm bar shove or because of her knee surgeries could get blown by.

      Enter Jefferson.

      It is possible that Faris, Stokes, and Jefferson are playing together by the 2nd TV timeout at Stanford.

  5. Keith

    You guys must b kidding re Farris being on the floor b cause of the score- she does everything under the radar every second. Steals, disrupts, lock down defender, and becoming a scoring threat. One of geno’s all time favorite players! And stokes is a dominant defender and is going to b a great player. The key to winning nat championship this yr is full court press 40 minutes, and grind opponents down with 10 talented fresh players. Our best player hasn’t played a minute yet- Bria Hartley. This team will be very difficult to defend and beat. May become one of uconn’s best ever next two yrs- and that is saying something.

  6. Keith

    Hey John- when u conn played holy family at xl center in that storm last wk- u seamed to knock the fans as a result of the low fan attendance — we couldn’t get anywhere that evening in and around north Branford- driving was impossible where we were. Your sarcasm wasn’t appreciated by this fan- but normally love your articles!

  7. FREDDYKOOL

    FREDDYKOOL: JUST ENJOYING THE MASTER CHEF TRYING ALL DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HIS STEW THE BEST EVER!!!!

  8. Village Idiot

    Keith–I agree!!! Faris is a GREAT basketball player and she made 2 three’s in the A/M game. Stokes played really well, no clean up player her. Her potential is unlimited, she just has to work harder.
    Uconn players are the quiet kind–near the end of the game you say–so and so didn’t score, then you look at the box score and she made 15/18/24. What ever these Women need to do Geno will get them to do it. Remember Geno played a lot of Sophs and freshmen, for a reason–he’s going to need them down the road.

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