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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Jim Clark’s Husky Report: Day Three, WBCA Classic

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By Jim Clark
Correspondent

First, a disclaimer: I did not attend these games. Too much driving at bad times on a post-holiday Sunday, and I needed to get in a bike ride, as the temperature was around 50 degrees in Southern Connecticut today.

The early game between Hofstra and Richmond was genuinely worth missing. These are the games that drive sports fans away from women’s basketball. Hofstra lost a second consecutive one-point game at the free throw line. The Pride hit just nine of 19 freebies, and missed five in the final 1:17 of a game they lost 42-41. The victorious Richmond Spiders, who managed to get out of Storrs 2-1, shot a stunning 24 percent from the field, but hit that extra free throw (they were 10-of-15) to win the game. Hofstra finished the tournament 0-3.

The main event saw Connecticut beat Clemson, 87-48. But this game was not a bit like yesterday’s. Connecticut shot two-of-15 from outside the arc, after hitting 10 threes in the first half alone on Saturday. For those who want to create nightmares about the Huskies, consider a performance by the guards like that against Stanford, and you have the makings of a blow-out by the Cardinal.

Any team seriously trying to beat UConn will have to take a chance on packing the paint (How well can Stanford’s three huge posts do that!) and hoping for a lousy shooting night from outside. Notre Dame has successfully done that with an effective zone (nobody does it better except, maybe, the Syracuse men), never more so than in the National Semifinal in 2001, when UConn gave up a 14-point lead with lousy shooting and ultimately lost by 15.

But, remember that the Huskies are only six games into the season. It is only November. And only March and April really count.

Tina Charles and Kalana Greene made the day for UConn. Charles had 20 first-half points, and continued the relentless, focused play that has set her apart this season from the Tina Charles of the past. She was named MVP of the mini-tournament, and right now, she is Connecticut’s best player. She has not had an off night in the six games so far, and nobody else can say that.

Kalana Greene had a career-high 28 points, and hit both of UConn’s threes. Before tonight, she was one-for-three on the season, and has never been a threat from beyond the arc.

Associate Head Coach Chris Dailey (now with 702 wins at Connecticut) summed up the first half correctly: “That was not the same energy we’ve had. . . . We just were not getting into the flow on offense.” Yup. The guards looked tired, at least mentally.

Clemson led Connecticut for 2:38 early in the game, the first time the Huskies have been behind all season. (Remember, last season, it was something like 10 minutes in the second half of any game.)

As Kalana Greene aptly summarized the situation: “Yesterday we had like three mistakes on defense. Tonight [to start the game] we made three mistakes back-to-back.”

For Clemson, LeLe Hardy showed the skills that make her an All-ACC contender, scoring 17 points (including four treys) and grabbing five rebounds. She’s the Tigers’ leading rebounder at 5’10”. Lindsay Welker had a career day against the nation’s No. 1 team: She scored 11points, one more than her season total before Sunday.

Exactly what this “Classic” accomplished for UConn is unclear. None of the other teams were good enough to challenge any part of the Huskies’ game. Now, to be fair, there are probably fewer than 10 programs in the country that can do that, but none of them were at Storrs this weekend.

The members of the All-Tournament Team were: Charles, the MVP, Maya Moore, Kalana Greene, and Tiffany Hayes, all from UConn; LeLe Hardy of Clemson, and Brittani Shells of Richmond.

Quote of the Day: Kalana Greene, asked whether her outstanding performance made her happy she came back for her fifth year of eligibility: “College is fun. Nobody’s ready to join the real world.”

Originally published Mon, November 30, 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.