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UConn/Tulsa Quotes

Jan. 6, 2016

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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On it being a good night for Saniya Chong:

“How many points did Saniya score tonight? 18. Saniya can get 50, because when you score that many points in high school like she did, scoring is not an issue. Saniya putting the ball in the basket has never been an issue. She can shoot it. She finishes around the basket. She’s a really really good offensive player. It’s good that in addition to that she has tried to do some other things on the other end of the floor, which we need her to do to help our team. You talk about Moriah being out of the game, that’s a lot of defensive pressure that we don’t have out there. I’m happy for her. It’s not easy to come out and play when you haven’t practiced a lot this year and you haven’t played in a lot of game minutes. We’re thrilled for her. It’s great.”

On if Saniya Chong is settling in and getting a sense that she is in now:

“I’m sure it was very difficult. It’s not one of those things where you can say she has a sprained ankle and will be out two weeks. This is one of those things where she could wake up tomorrow and they can’t get her ready for practice. So it’s every day. She is making the most of it. That’s all you can do.”

On Morgan Tuck’s knees and how steady a player she is right now:

“I think the only people that worry about Tuck’s physical condition is probably all of us, including me. She never worries about it. She’s always good. We ask her all the time, ‘Are you good to go?’ ‘Yeah, I’m good,’ ‘How does it feel?’ ‘Feels good.’ She goes out and she plays the same way every day. She shows off a little bit of everything and that’s what separates her from a lot of other players. We’re fortunate, very fortunate, to have two players, [Stewart] and Tuck, who we can put anywhere on the floor and they are comfortable and very efficient. Again, the things that Tuck did tonight, no surprise, no surprise whatsoever. “

On what he saw from Natalie Butler tonight:

“As I said last time at Cincinnati, it’s going to take a while for Nat to get caught up with as much as she has missed and still dealing with the thumb thing. She’s not 100 percent yet, but for the minutes that she plays, she’s getting a lot done and getting a little bit done at the other end, and a little bit done at the offensive end and put it all together and slowly but surely we will get her back to 100 percent.”

Tulsa Head Coach Matilda Mossman

On how big of a fact the size difference was and how to counter that:

"It’s not as much the size as it is how hard those guys play. We've played teams with size before, they just don't play as hard as those UConn guys do. I think that was a huge difference, that every loose ball they got, they crashed the boards really well and they got a lot of offensive rebounds." 

On moving past this loss after opening conference play 2-0:

"You can't. I don't think we came in here with the expectation that we were going to upset them. Our focus now has to be on Friday night at Temple and then at Memphis on Sunday. Our focus is going to turn real quick to Temple."

On what she hopes the team learns from this road trip:

"I hope to learn about the recovery of our student athletes. That's going to be our biggest thing. We're going to have a day to travel, prep and recover. It's less than 48 hours and then turn around and in less than 48 hours again we have to travel, prep and recover. We'll manage the recovery part. You'll notice that we played minutes today, make sure that everyone played the same number of minutes so that we didn't overexert anybody."

Junior Saniya Chong

On stepping in for Moriah Jefferson:

“I felt really excited knowing that I had to step in and take Moriah’s place. She does everything, her offense, her defense. I knew playing her role, I couldn’t be her, but I had to go out there and give it my all and contribute to the team.”

On her big third quarter:

“You know, I just had support from Moriah talking to me. Obviously, the defense was a little shaky in the first half so coming out in the second half Moriah was talking to me and I knew what I had to do.”

Redshirt-junior Morgan Tuck

On being a steadying influence:

“I think so. That’s always my goal to make a big impact on the team and you know, I feel like that’s something I needed to do this year.”

On her knee:

“It’s going well. It’s not something that I think about when I’m on the court or anything, so I think I’m doing well with that.”

On the absence of Moriah Jefferson:

“It’s tough. There hasn’t been a game that I’ve played where she hasn’t been out there, but I think Saniya did a good job kind of going out there and picking up the pieces.”