Villanova offense shut down by Huskies
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 00:01
The No. 3 UConn women’s basketball team defeated No. 25 Villanova 76-43 in a game where the Huskies were able to shut down the Wildcats most dangerous offensive weapon.
Villanova is known for their ability to shoot the three point ball well, but that was not the case last night at the XL Center. In the first half the Wildcats struggled behind the arc, only making one three-pointer of the 10 they attempted. Things only slightly improved for Villanova in the second half, where the Wildcats shot 33.3 percent from behind the arc for a game total percentage of 25 percent. Senior Stefanie Dolson said that great coaching played a factor for the Huskies to shutdown Villanova from three point range.
“CD did a great job scouting Villanova, telling us who the shooters were and who weren’t,” said Dolson. “It was great hustle by all the guards and getting over the screen and making sure that every shot they took was a tough one, especially the three.”
The Huskies on the other hand, shot ball well from beyond the field thanks in part to sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Lewis was perfect from behind the three point line, as she made all four three pointers she attempted in the first half. Lewis added one more three pointer in the second half as she went 5-6 on the night from behind the arc. After the game, Lewis talked about being consistent for her team and being an all-around player, not just somebody who can score a basket.
“I think that I’ve tried to make steps to be more consistent for my team and just being a better all-around player,” said Lewis. “I feel like if you’re talking about a player who is best in the country or one of the best, they are an all-around player, they’re not someone who just scores or just plays good defense, it’s someone who does a little bit of everything, like Kelly Faris.”
Dolson shines once again
In addition to the exceptional play of Lewis, Dolson was UConn’s other biggest star of the game. She was the Huskies’ leading point scorer in the game with 20 points on the night and also grabbed eight rebounds in UConn’s dominating victory. The XL Center has been friendly to the 6’2” center as of late. Dolson scored a career high 25 points when the Huskies defeated Syracuse in Hartford on Jan. 19. Head coach Geno Auriemma was very satisfied with the play of UConn’s top two scorers in the game.
“I don’t think there’s any quarrels that I have with Stefanie in anything that she’s done since the first day of practice,” said Auriemma. “If she could stay exactly the way she is and get better at some of the things that she’s already good at, I don’t think we could ask those two to do any more for us. Where that puts them nationally, I don’t know. I guess that’s for other people other to decide other than me.”
Turnovers not an issue against Villanova
The Huskies were able to correct a weaker portion of their game against the Wildcats. In the previous two games, UConn turned the ball over a combined 30 times. Tonight the Huskies only gave the ball away nine times, compared to Villanova’s 12 turnovers. Auriemma stressed the importance of eliminating turnovers to his team in practice this week and was happy with what his players did when they had possession of the basketball.
“I think it’s something that we have been talking about a lot, we shot the ball a little quicker and I think we passed up fewer open shots,” said Auriemma.
The quotable Geno Auriemma
“I would say our bench has to develop into really, really reliable players that offensively can give us something as the season winds down. They have to be able to be productive; we got to know exactly what we get when we put those guys in the game.”