Women’s basketball set to face Terps
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 23:12
The UConn women’s basketball team has cruised through the first six games of its schedule with a 48.7–point average margin of victory. But Monday night’s game will be their first against a top 10 opponent and should prove a tougher test for the No. 2 Huskies, as they welcome No. 10 Maryland to the XL Center.
Coach Geno Auriemma thinks that raising the competition level will be a good thing for his team.
“We’ve got enough players that have played in a lot of games and they know what’s coming next Monday and they know what’s coming next Thursday [against Penn State],” Auriemma said after his team’s game against Colgate Wednesday. “And they know it’s not going to be like it was [Wednesday] or like it was against College of Charleston “It’s going to be different, and they know that. What sometimes people forget is that players welcome that.”
In their only other game against a top 25 opponent, UConn rolled over No. 14 Purdue in a 91-57 rout at the Paradise Jam.
The Terps are fresh off their own battle with a ranked opponent; a 90-71 win against No. 21 Nebraska on Wednesday night. But Maryland lost one of their starters, junior guard Laurin Mincy, for the season when she tore the ACL in her right knee.
The Huskies, on the other hand, will be returning one of their starters to the lineup as Kaleena Mosqueade-Lewis has been cleared to play after sustaining a concussion on Nov. 25.
One of the keys to the game should be the inside battle. Crashing the boards has been a strength of the Huskies so far this season; they’re outrebounding their opponents by an average of 14.5 rebounds per game. But Maryland presents UConn with a different challenge, as they haven’t yet faced a team with their size.
Six Terps are 6-foot-2 or taller, including 6-foot-7 senior Essence Townsend. The Huskies boast five players of at least that height.
“Maryland is a great rebounding team, so we’re going to have to do a good job of being present in the paint,” said UConn junior center Stefanie Dolson.
The game, which is a part of the annual Jimmy V Classic, will be shown on ESPN2, marking the first nationally televised contest of the year for the Huskies. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can also be heard on WHUS and WTIC.