Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 23:03
Last night, UConn’s 61-59 loss came down to one bad possession after two minutes of brilliance.
With 1:59 remaining in the game, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma called a 30-second timeout after a Breanna Stewart layup assisted by Bria Hartley. At that point, the Huskies were down 59-55.
The first Notre Dame possession after that timeout ended in a turnover by Notre Dame freshman Jewell Loyd after Hartley stole the ball from her. The Huskies responded with a Hartley pull-up jumper on a fast break.
59-57 Notre Dame.
Then the redhot Kayla McBride—a bona fide Husky killer who finished the game with 23 points—missed a layup. UConn then took the ball down the floor and scored on a Stefanie Dolson layup.
Game tied at 59.
When the Irish took the ball up the court, guard Skylar Diggins attempted a wild, contested shot that didn’t go in.
All of a sudden UConn had the ball with 37 seconds to go and a chance at a win.
Coming up the floor, UConn guard Kelly Faris dribbled her way out of trouble and took a wild layup but got her own rebound. Play stopped with 18.4 seconds to go and Auriemma used the pause in the action to take a timeout.
With no shot clock, the Huskies had 18.4 seconds to score a basket that could eliminate a first half so lousy that Auriemma couldn’t even describe it.
“I can’t think of any scenario that I thought we would play that first half the way we played it,” Auriemma said. “I wasn’t prepared for that.”
As awful as it might have been, UConn still had a chance.
After the timeout, UConn ran a play that the Huskies went through as recently as Tuesday morning.
Faris had the ball on a misdirection play and was faced with a decision. One option was to pass to forward Kaleena Mosqueda Lewis on the top of the circle—the wide-open Mosqueda-Lewis hadn’t made a three-pointer all game—another option was to pass to Breanna Stewart underneath the basket.
Faris chose to pass it to Stewart.