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Monday, May 20, 2019

Jim Clark’s Husky Report: Connecticut 80 v. Hartford 45

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By Jim Clark
Correspondent

Hartford is a good team, one that has beaten both Louisville and Temple. Temple is nationally ranked; Louisville was at the time.

But the Hawks did not look that good in this game. The reason: The Husky defense appears to be just that good.

“I know these teams are better than they look against us, but they can’t look that good the way we’re playing defense,” Coach Auriemma said after the game. “Our defense has worked really hard. They’ve worked really hard in practice. They work really hard in games.”

Hartford Coach Jen Rizzotti, who knows something about UConn’s approach, agreed. “They make you feel like there’s eight guys out there defending you,” she said. “And no matter what you do and what option you choose, there’s some long arm in the way of the pass you want to make. It is phenomenal, and I know it’s something they pride themselves on, and it’s what separates them from everyone else in the country. . . .Defense isn’t about being an All American,” she added. “Defense is all about desire and position and heart.” Hartford scored its first field goal at 12:55.

Tiffany Hayes, rushing to return to Wednesday’s practice after attending class, skipped putting on her ankle braces, and promptly “rolled my ankle,” she told the New Haven Register. She was wearing the braces against Hartford, but could not jump, and grimaced when she stumbled as her shot was blocked in the first few minutes of the game. She clearly favored the ankle throughout the contest.

Good thing there are 10 days before the next game.

Maya Moore also was looking a bit gimpy on her left foot. No one would acknowledge anything as wrong, certainly not Moore. She didn’t let up, of course, but seemed a half-step slow and was not leaping quite as well as usual.

Tina Charles is possessed. Despite the hype that has Moore already in possession of all the player-of-the-year hardware, Charles is clearly the best player on the team, and plays as hard as Moore and harder than anyone else. She dives for balls, she hedges out on shooters at the arc, she recovers like lightning into the paint, and she simply disrupts things in general.

Kalana Greene, Hayes and, to some extent, Moore seemed to concentrate on driving the gaps and the baseline. Prep for the Notre Dame zone? Or for Stanford? Or just for the disappearance of the three-pointer?

Kaili McLaren is such a good passer. But she is just too immobile to play good defense. Her two quick fouls were grabs as she was beaten off the dribble by quicker players, and she sat after just a few minutes.

The first substitute for Tina Charles in both halves was Megan Gardler. Six-foot, slow Megan Gardler. Not Kaili McLaren. Not Heather Buck. Hartford’s 6’2” Diana Delva, stymied inside to that point, exploited Gardler early and often. Hartford scored 16 points in the first half. The Hawks scored 13 points in the first eight minutes of the second half, the same number as the Huskies. Charles was out, but the other starters were playing most of that time.

For a fan, boring. For that matter, for a writer, boring.

Hayes was left in the game, although obviously in pain from her ankle injury. Punishment for rushing, rather than wearing her protective gear?

Lorin Dixon did not play, though she was dressed.

UConn has 10 days off for exams. They meet Iona(!) on December 20. I bet that makes the Huskies nervous about their winning streak. Then there is Stanford on the 23rd. Finally! A real game.

 

Originally published Fri, December 11, 2009


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.