Nov. 9, 2013
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UConn vs. Hartford, Women’s Basketball (11-9-13)
Game-Day Quotes: Geno Auriemma
On center Stefanie Dolson from three-point range:
“That’s something that has been kind of in the works from last year until now, in the present. She has been more and more comfortable everyday shooting the ball. It does not surprise me at all that…one, that she shoots it, or two, that it goes in. That is something she has worked a very long time on; it was great that she had a chance to shoot them tonight.”
On the frontcourt for this season:
“When you look at them, we’ve got a lot of versatility. It seems like they all individual strengths and they are quite different from each other. Yet, they are all pretty good ball handlers that pass the ball pretty well. Not only are they pretty good individually, but also they help each other, a lot, because they do pass the ball so well. That is a little bit different then a lot of teams that have some good post players, but do not necessarily help each other. When you have post players whose main function is to score, not pass, they are not as difficult to defend as the ones we’ve got right now.”
On Moriah Jefferson’s opening night performance:
“Given that she just started practicing towards the middle of the week, I thought she looked really good. I liked the fact that she made smart decisions shooting the ball. She didn’t make a lot of mental errors. For a young guard, that is a big key going forward. Becoming mentally better, more mature making decisions, that is a big step going into Monday. I think games like tonight are a real confidence booster for her.”
On the impact of last season’s victory over Stanford:
“I don’t know...I’m sure they did. I think when you have a lot of players back, which they do; you work pretty hard not to bring up what happened last year. That certainly doesn’t happen very often, certainly not on their own court. It is certainly nothing that I foresaw happening when we went out there. They’ve done just that to a lot of other people, on trips to other people’s gyms. I think when you are a proud program like they are, when you have accomplished what they have accomplished over the years, I am sure that it didn’t go over very well. I’m sure that will be mentioned a few times before Monday night.”
On Monday night’s game with Stanford:
“I remember when winning these games meant everybody in the country would say…wow, look at Connecticut, they are really good…where did they come from? If we win Monday night, everybody goes, big deal…they are supposed to win. You really don’t know what is the absolute best approach to take. I think, the approach that has helped us the most in the last ten years is one of…it’s November, we are home, we are playing a really good team, its national television, we want to go out and play great. Tuesday morning, we get together to get ready for Friday and Sunday. Unlike the NCAA tournament where there is no practice on Tuesday if you don’t win Monday, it is kind of different. I think what happens after Monday’s game is always bigger than what happens in Monday’s game. When we played Stanford last year, and we did that, we came home and the next five days in practice weren’t great, then we didn’t play great versus Notre Dame. I think the way you respond to tomorrow, obviously is important because you want to win, but what you do Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday is going to be a lot more important than what happens Monday night.”
Game-Day Quotes: Player Quotes
Sophomore Forward Breanna Stewart:
On the best thing about the win:
“I think the best thing was really getting a lot more comfortable with our offense and defense. I think that today we did a really good job in the second when we weren’t getting fast breaks anymore we were going through our offense trying to get all the way through to get a certain shot each time.
On the play of Moriah Jefferson:
“Mo played really well. She’s a great point and you want the ball in her hands on our team. She does a great job playing the point guard and she plays the position well. If you leave her open, she can score.
On what Stefanie Dolson shooting the three adds to the offense:
“When Stef makes people guard her on the perimeter it just makes us even harder to guard. You have to pick and choose, Stef can make the threes and make the jump shots and maybe that will leave someone else open in the lane. Being able to have such a versatile team is very helpful.”
Sophomore Guard Moriah Jefferson:
On how pleased she is with her play today:
“I’m very pleased. Especially being out for a couple days, you can get out of shape fast. We came out and got our offense going which was nice.
On offensive goals the team wanted to establish:
“For the team I wanted to make sure we came out on a good note so that our offense looked nice and we were all on the same page, that we were hitting open cutters and not just worrying about ourselves.
On her increased confidence this year:
“It’s definitely a confidence booster to come in and have a good game to start the season. Of course I haven’t been playing so I think it helped me out a lot as a point guard and we’re getting ready for the next game now.”
Senior center Stefanie Dolson:
On the start of the season:
“I think as a whole we played great tonight. Our offense was clicking, we were running our stuff really well and as a defense we just kept talking and communicating. We were a little late on some helps but overall we made up for each other’s mistakes and did a great job.
On how her and Stewart being able to shoot from the outside changes the offense:
“It changes a lot because when they know we can shoot they have to come out and help which opens up the lane for the other post to post up. If we couldn’t shoot it they would just sag off and we wouldn’t get either shot. It just really helps to get the floor spaced out and make sure that we can points in the paint.
On the play of Jefferson:
“She did a great job coming back from that short little [break]. I’m just happy with the confidence she had tonight and she did a great job just getting to it defensively and making the other team turn the ball over. Offensively pushing the tempo and making sure we knew what offense we were running and just kind of running the show.”