Nov. 5, 2013
HARTFORD, Conn. - The UConn women's basketball team concluded its exhibition schedule with a 93-28 win over Philadelphia University at the XL Center in Hartford on Tuesday evening. The Huskies opened up a 30-3 lead in the first eleven minutes before a crowd of 6,108 in attendance.
Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) recorded her second-straight double-double effort with a 14 point, 11 rebound night and six blocks to boot. Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill.) paced the UConn offense with 16 points on an impressive 7-for-9 shooting performance from the floor. Saniya Chong (Ossining, N.Y.), Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.), Kiah Stokes (Marion, Iowa), and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) all contributed double-digit figures. Chong improved on her three-point result from Gannon to knock down 13 points tonight, including a 5-for-6 showing at the charity stripe.
Philadelphia's Monica Schacker tied with Tuck for game-high points with 16. Schacker notched eight of the Rams' 13 points in the first frame of play, enjoying a 4-for-7 evening from behind the arc.
UConn held Philadelphia without a free throw attempt until 11:18 remaining in the game.
Coach Geno Auriemma praised Tuck's 16 point performance. "I think Morgan is great," he said. "She does all the things good basketball players do and she's being doing that since she got here last year. She passes the ball, she dribbles it, she plays good defense, she rebounds it. I don't know, I never have any complaints against Morgan...ever."
With the exhibition season now wrapped-up and the regular season beginning Saturday, Breanna Stewart reflected on the opportunity to fine-tune her game before the official schedule kicks off. "I think tonight was very fun. It's good to play against other people other than our practice players. They're great but it's good to try your offense and defense on people who have never seen it before."
Stewart pointed out the leadership of teammate Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who embraced the playmaker role and led all players with eight assists. "Kaleena's all-around game is wonderful. I mean she had eight assists and that's good for someone who was your leading scorer last year."
Mosqueda-Lewis admitted the conscious effort to increase her passing numbers by dishing to teammates whenever the opportunity presents itself. "I try to get assists as much as possible. Today, it was really more of a focus. There are a lot of times where I could have shot a three but it wasn't going to be beneficial. I was trying to get our walk-ons involved and help Saniya get the offense down."
Coach Auriemma expressed nothing but positive reviews of the junior. "She's been really good at practice the last week or so. She is just getting to be a better basketball player by seeing more things than just shots. I think the more you see things, the better you get. At one point she came over to the sideline and I said I think you're playing great...and she was."
Looking ahead to the season, Auriemma highlighted the team's passing ability as a key asset on the court. "I've said this ever since I started coaching that having three really good passers on the floor is really key. You have four, that's unusual, and for us I think we have four and a half really good passers. That's really unusual for most teams. That's what makes it really difficult to defend us now."
The Huskies will return to the XL Center on Saturday afternoon for their season-opener against in-state foe Hartford. Tip-off is scheduled for 4pm on Nov. 9.