If Tuesday’s preseason game against Philadelphia University follows the same path as Friday’s blowout over Gannon, Geno Auriemma will turn to his bench again for walk-ons Tierney Lawlor and Briana Pulido, who combined for seven minutes against Gannon.
Think about it: The pair has a chance to play more minutes than any walk-ons in the nation this season – in women’s or men’s basketball.
Lawlor, who played for Ansonia High, played 3 minutes, 31 seconds and did not score. Pulido, who was a UConn track athlete last year, played just under three minutes and scored a double-clutch layup to get the Huskies over 100 points in the 101-35 win.
“I don’t have any rules for them [in terms of playing time],” Auriemma said. “I just gauge what our expectations are for them every day in practice. They are way different than they are for everyone else in some areas. In other areas, they are the same. So if they do what we expect them to do every day then they are going to play. I hope they do get to play a lot. That means we’re in pretty good shape.”
Former UConn forward Michala Johnson led Wisconsin with 24 points in her first preseason appearance with the Badgers. Johnson’s sister, freshman Malayna, also plays for the program.
“Michala coming out for the first time, really showed what she can do,” Badgers coach Bobbie Kelsey said after the game. “Michala is one of natural leaders, they lead by example with their play but also in the classroom. They are very good examples for what we would like our players to be.
Wisconsin led 41-23 lead at half and then opened the second half with a 6-0 run in which Michala Johnson scored four. Michala Johnson also had eight rebounds.
“With Michala, I already knew that she could do this,” Kelsey said. “We’re happy to have her. I know that she wants to play, and we’re going to play her, as you can tell. She can do a lot of things out there — not only at the block but also at the high post area and running the floor. When we rebound like we need to and she gets out and runs, that’s hard to stop because there’s nobody in front of her.”