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Fueled by an early run, No. 1 UConn tops No. 4 Louisville - Quotes

Feb. 12, 2018

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UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma

On the 19-0 run

"Our defense probably. That was number one. I thought we defended them as well as we wanted to, that was the plan going in. We executed and led to a couple easy things and then at the other end, on offense we just were really sharp on the offensive end. I think when you combine those two things, the way we played on defense and how we executed on the offensive end that’s how you got what you got and I don’t think any of our players or any of our coaches went in and thought okay when we get up 20 this is how were going to play but it was a pretty impressive first half. It really really was because that’s not an easy team to play defense against."

On senior forward Gabby Williams and junior guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson

"I know, every time I go to take someone out I go, oh man I don’t know if I want to do that so I say I’ll give them a breather a little bit later and then a little bit later comes and I go, oh no maybe a little bit later and you look up and 40 minutes have gone by. I keep saying that we have got some players that are pretty tough. I mean Gabby made some plays today that are just impossible to describe. Just the stuff that she does it’s unlike anything a lot of people have seen to watch her play basketball. And then she and Lou worked really well together, they got a lot done and kept the defense all balanced. It’s not easy to get a lot of really good players in high school that score 4,000 points each to come to Connecticut, you tell them tonight you’re going to have to pass the ball, they’ll break out into a rash and start getting shakes. So we have to work really really hard to make sure that you stay with what you’re doing and the first half was perfect. Second half got a little bit ugly, I don’t think we were as sharp but maybe they got tired, I don’t know."

On the non-conference match up

"When you schedule teams like this, whether it’s earlier in the season or whether it’s this time of year, it’s always about what’s coming in March so for us to know that against a really good team we have the ability to do what we did but at the same time I guess against a really good team we have the ability to not play as well and I think you need both of those things more than we get normally so for us to get a chance to see both sides of when we’re at our best and when we’re not. Obviously we don’t get that enough. We knew we were going to get it tonight one way or another. That way the second half went, I thought the whole game was going to go like that, that it was going to be like that so I think we got what we wanted out of it for sure."

Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz

​On the run that UConn went on at the beginning of the game

"That was part of the plan, we tried to get them a little overconfident out there (laughs)...We had some good shots and we missed. I thought we took some that were too quick that led to transition for them and that's something you can't do. You've got to make that extra pass and get them to try to guard you. After the first quarter, I thought we did a good job of that. That's the one thing about them - they can score. And unfortunately, they scored a bunch in the first quarter and put us behind the eight ball."

On coming back from the first quarter

"We competed. I'm happy about that. Losing sucks. Whoever sits there and says that there is such a good thing as a good loss is crazy. That's what you say to make yourself feel good. I hate it. That first quarter, when we made the first shot, I said 'Ok, here we go, let's continue to put pressure on them.' And we couldn't do that. Then when you give them a chance to build that lead, then you're pressing. I was proud of them. I thought we competed, which is what you want to do. I just wish we could have made it a better game there right off the bat."

Forward Katie Lou
On Tonights Game

"I think I was really focused today and at shootaround, you know no screwing around just was ready to go, doing what I could to prepared."

On the First Quater
"I think a huge part was our defense and I think that starts with Kia and Gabby, the way they played, they shut them down really quickly. We had that momentum on offense and executed all of our plays perfectly and we ran each one to get a different option every time. We kept going to what we were good at."
Guard Kia Nurse
On tonight's game
"I think for me personally it's whatever the team needs on that night and that was my job today and Lou did a great job, knocked down a bunch of shots,  Gabby's passes were on point and Fee as well. I think when you come in and have all these people who do their roles and do them well, that's what makes us special."
Forward Gabby Williams
On the First Quater
"I think we executed great and did everything, defensively we executed and offensively we ran everything we wanted to run, our shots were falling and we were feeding off each others energy."