Nov. 1, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – Five Huskies posted double-digit point totals to lead the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team over Gannon by a score of 101-35 in an exhibition game at Gampel Pavilion on Friday evening. Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) led all players with 21 points and 13 rebounds in her first double-double of the exhibition season. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) chipped in 20 points for the Huskies. The Lady Knights fall to 2-1 in their exhibition schedule this season.
UConn opened up a 25-4 lead in the first seven minutes of play and never looked back, connecting on nine of its first 15 shots. The Huskies’ starting five players accounted for 73.3% (74-of-101) of UConn’s total points on the evening.
Freshman Saniya Chang (Ossining, N.Y.) made her debut for the Huskies, dropping in a layup and adding a free throw to her first exhibition game. “I think she did better than I did last year,” commented teammate Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas), who finished the game with 13 points and recorded game-high totals in steals (4) and assists (6). “On the court talking to her, she wasn’t as nervous. She made some good plays and she got a good layup in. She missed her first free throw and she never misses free throws so that must have been nerves. Other than that, she played well.”
Chong echoed Jefferson’s sentiments about the mental challenge of adjusting to the college game in a Husky uniform. “I think that I’m going to get there,” said the 2013 New York Gatorade Player of the Year. “I’m just a little nervous getting the hang of it right now. Practice is practice, but games are different. Coming out here in my first game I wanted to take it slow.”
The Huskies also welcomed Brianna Banks (Newnan, Ga.) back to the lineup following a recovery from knee injuries. “I was pleased because you don’t know what you are going to get early on,” offered Head Coach Geno Auriemma of her performance. “She has been, in practice, really good, and then she has struggled at times. The struggles haven’t really been physical, they’ve been mental, and that’s what happens when you haven’t played in a long time.”
Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.) logged the most time on the court of all players, recording 31 minutes. The senior guard added 12 points with five assists and two steals for the Huskies, but Auriemma highlighted an even more significant contribution from his senior leader. “She is another one that gained a lot of confidence last year. Even though she got hurt, before that injury she had gotten to the point where she knew she could contribute and there were some things she could do. That carried over and that was really good to see, her attitude has been great.”
UConn returns to action in its final exhibition tune-up on Tuesday, Nov. 5 against Philadelphia. The teams will square off at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm
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