Jan. 7, 2014
Head Coach Geno Auriemma
On the team’s energy at the start of the game:
There was a big difference at the beginning of the game today than certainly both the Central Florida and Memphis game. I think everyone is just happy to be home. Even though it was short, I think everyone is just happy to be here, happy to be playing on our home court, being in our locker room, being back in their own apartments. I think it was just what we needed. It looked like it the entire second half, I don’t think anything changed from the first half.
On Dolson and Stewart’s contributions down low:
I mean, we’ve always played our defense according to the personnel that we had. Some years we can do things that we can’t other years. This year we happen to have the opportunity to do certain things I think give us a different look than we’ve had in the past. Stefanie is a senior and she’s a really good defender. Kiah Stokes comes in and she’s a really good defender. Stewie is getting better. We’ve got a couple post players that have become pretty good defenders. Now you can tell a little bit tonight, you can’t tell a lot tonight, about how good they are defensively because obviously the players we were playing against were not at that level of what we’re going to be playing against down the road, but I still think we saw them do some things that are going to be okay going forward.
On back-to-back good performances from Morgan Tuck:
I was surprised when I heard she had 19 because she does it so quietly. It’s almost like you notice more when she misses and not scoring than when she is. But that’s kind of her personality too, she’s quiet. Her game is quiet, but in the end you look up and she’s done a little bit of everything and that’s what Morgan is. Morgan is that player that you can call on to do a variety of things and she does all of them well. I’m certain that as the season goes on and Morgan gets closer and closer to what I think she was before the injury, our team will get a lot better. We’ll get a lot better.
On Stewart’s Team USA accomplishments:
Stewie has always been honored to be part of USA basketball, it’s one of the most important things to her. As far as the game itself goes, she’s never passed up an opportunity to participate and she’s played at her age group, she’s played up one or two and sometimes three years, and she always performs at a really high level. She has a really strong commitment and I think USA basketball appreciates the commitment that she has. Some people you have to ask ten times and Stewie you don’t have to ask at all. You just tell her when training camp is and she shows up and whatever team she’s on usually wins a gold medal, so I’m not surprised that USA basketball thinks that highly of her. She’s certainly earned it and there’s probably a lot more gold medals in her future.
Sophomore Forward Breanna Stewart
On the offense finding its rhythm tonight:
“I think the last couple of games we struggled to go out and play really well. We wanted to come out and play basketball we know how to play. When you play like that it’s easier to say everyone played well. We came out right from the start and were aggressive the whole game.”
On tying a school record with 17 blocks:
“I think that we know we can block shots. You just have to be aggressive on defense. Houston kept trying to put it up there.”
On being honored by USA Basketball:
“It means a lot. It means as much to me as it did the first time. USA Basketball has been something I’ve enjoyed doing and they’ve helped me learn a lot about basketball. They also gave me opportunities to travel across the world.”
Sophomore Forward Morgan Tuck
On Breanna Stewart being honored twice by USA Basketball:
“I think it’s really player. Stewart is a special player and a special person. For her to do it twice, that’s something that hasn’t been done a lot. I think she’s on the track to be one of those legendary players that little girls 20 years from now will be talking about.”
On why Stewart is such a great player:
“I think she has a God-given talent and she works hard. I think that she has a good mindset about. She’s humble.”
On getting back on track offensively:
“This game helped. My confidence is back up to where it should be and I’m hoping to continue it to the next game.”
Houston Interim Head Coach Wade Scott
The team has lost four straight since the change, how have they responded to what obviously has been a tough situation?
"I think they're doing fine. You're playing the No. 1 team in the country, and they're No. 1 for a reason. The opponents that we've had since the change, they've all been good. It's going to take a little bit. It's not going to change overnight."
How does playing a team like UConn make you better? What positives do you take out of this?
"Playing a team like UConn makes you better because it exposes a lot of your weaknesses, stuff that we need to work on. Some teams, they hide it, but I thought that today UConn probably exposed every weakness that we had. It gives us something as coaches to go back and look at and try to come up with something a little bit different the rest of the way. The positives? I thought our kids played hard. I just don't know if we played smart at times. Our shots just didn't fall. I don't know how many great looks we got, but the good looks that we did get, we didn't seem to convert on them."
Briana Stewart is so obviously so hard to guard being able to play so well inside and outside. What was the plan coming in?
"It's hard to limit her touches because Coach Auriemma does a very good job of getting her great looks. Her teammates did a great job setting screens and she cuts off them. She runs the floor extremely well. We wanted to limit the touches, it was just going to be hard for us to because we don't have anybody that can match up with her size-wise and athleticism-wise."