Banks, Faris combine for offensive explosion
With Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis on the bench with a concussion, there was no question that someone would step up and score a lot of points; it was a matter of who would be the one do so.
After the first half, it was clear which two players would rise to the occasion.
In the 2011-2012 season, guards Brianna Banks and Kelly Faris scored 3.6 and 6.7 points per game respectively, for a combined total of 10.3 points per game. Last night, during the Huskies' 101-41 rout of the Colgate Raiders, their combined score was significantly higher.
Banks, the night's leading scorer, finished the game with 20 points, five assists and four steals. Her 20 points helped her reach a new career record, surpassing the 17 points she scored against Farleigh Dickinson in November of last year.
UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma said after the game that Banks' improvement between her freshman and sophomore seasons shows that she has a promising career ahead of her. Time and time again, he's seen that the players who accomplish the most during that time are the ones who will be the most successful.
Unlike last season, when Banks was over-thinking decisions and getting nervous when the ball was in her possession, Auriemma said that this year, she's just going out and playing.
It's not just her coach that sees the improvement. Her teammates are also impressed by her play so far this season.
"She's obviously greatly improved and I'm proud of her for that," Faris said of Banks.
Faris also had a good game on Wednesday night. She finished with 17 points and added five assists and three steals.
After last night's game, Faris increased her points per game total from 8.6 to 10 points, over three points higher than what it was last season.
Auriemma has always been outspoken about the advantage that Faris gives the Huskies, even though it hasn't historically been on the offensive end.
"Making shots is just a bonus," Auriemma said. Stanford series renewed
During the game, it was announced that the series with Stanford had been renewed through the 2014-2015 season. On Dec. 29, in Palo Alto, the two will face off in the last game of a contract that was signed back in 2010.
Under the new deal, the Huskies will play Stanford at home for the season opener before facing the Cardinal in California during the 2014-2015 season.
Auriemma said he always loved playing Stanford and has immense respect for the program. He's excited that the two teams will continue to play one another.
"As long as Stanford wants to play, we'll play them," Auriemma said.
Afterward, he jokingly asked whose idea it was to schedule the Cardinal as the Huskies' home opener in the 2013-2014 season. Conference Instability
After the game, Auriemma did not seem at all concerned about the way in which teams are switching conferences, even with the Big East losing a lot of its muscle.
"We just want to win every championship that we can," Auriemma said.
He went on to say that the conference realignment is completely out of the control of the coach, even the athletic director and the university president. Things like conference affiliation cannot be controlled, he said.
Auriemma also wanted to dispel the notion that schools can successfully vie for certain spots in certain conferences and that's where their programs will end up.
"That's not how it works," Auriemma said. "You don't go on a campaign and get yourself into a different situation than the one you're in now."
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