UConn women's basketball to take on St. John's
The last time the Huskies encountered the Red Storm, St. John's was ruining UConn's party.
Going into the Feb. 18, 2012 game between these teams, No. 2 UConn had won 99 straight games at home and St. John's saw to it that the Huskies never reached 100.
After a 57-56 loss, the streak was over and UConn was left standing around wondering what had happened. St. John's had come into Gampel Pavilion unafraid of the Huskies and beat them in front of a home crowd that was all too ready to celebrate the milestone 100th home win in a row.
Now, UConn, sitting at 19-1 overall and 6-1 in the Big East, heads to Queens to take on the Red Storm who are 10-9 overall and 4-3 in the Big East games.
Only ten games remain on UConn's schedule; it's about that time of the season when the Huskies need to start playing like they will come tournament time.
"By the time February comes, coach [Geno Auriemma] wants to make sure we are a different team than we were in January and in December," UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "We're taking steps forward."
Tuesday's game against Villanova brought a lot of the things that Auriemma is looking for as the season winds down. One of the things going well according to Auriemma is the play of Stefanie Dolson and Mosqueda-Lewis.
"Stef and Kaleena are in a really good rhythm right now," Auriemma said.
Even with Mosqueda-Lewis playing at such a high level, Auriemma is still looking for her to improve. He never wants her to think to pass when she has the ball. He said that she's one of few players in the country that when she shoots, it's a surprise when the ball does not go in.
Auriemma said that Mosqueda-Lewis has to learn that if she shoots every time she has the ball, then nobody will be upset with her. He wants to make sure that she knows her role on the offense.
Dolson believes that this team has been improving its game tempo as the season has progressed. She noted that UConn is at its best when the Huskies get the ball to the outlet quickly and can then run the floor for easy baskets in transition.
However, in doing so, Dolson has seen that the offense has, at times, mistaken playing fast for playing foolishly, and the Huskies make too many mistakes when they try to rush things.
Turnovers are also a concern of Auriemma's.
"When you score 85 points a game like we do, 14 turnovers is not a lot," he said. "What bugs me is when they come and what kind they are."
Early in the season, UConn committed several turnovers that occurred either right out of a timeout or in a crucial game situation, both of which drive coaches, especially Auriemma, crazy.
After the game against Duke, Auriemma stressed that while he wants to get more of the bench involved in games, he thinks he's been doing it the wrong way thus far. Auriemma, instead of putting most of the bench on the court at the same time, wants to start rotating players in and out while still keeping his core group of players on the court.
But, he said that when he does put them in, he wants to know exactly what he can expect out of them and he has really stressed the need for more consistency on their part.
Tipoff for the game is Saturday at 2 p.m.
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