UConn improves to 17-2 and 7-0 in the BIG EAST, while DePaul falls to 13-7 and 3-4 in the conference.
UConn’s win tonight allowed the team to put together its second winning streak of three games or more this season. The Huskies have won five of their last six games overall.
Junior Charde Houston (San Diego, Calif.) finished with 19 points and a career-high seven assists. Freshman Tina Charles (Jamaica, N.Y.) and junior Brittany Hunter (Columbus, Ohio) each scored 11 points in the win.
UConn opened the contest scoring the first six points of the game as Charles took advantage of a mismatch in the post for two points less than 30 seconds in. Houston drove through the lane for a basket to put the Huskies up 10-7 with 15:16 on the clock. DePaul’s Allie Quigley tied up the game at 10-10 with a layup, but Greene responded with two free throws to put UConn back on top.
Greene connected from beyond the arc at 13:08 to go up 15-12. China Threatt’s attempt from three-point range tied the game again at 17-17, but junior Mel Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio) nailed a 3-pointer of her own just eight seconds later on the following possession to regain the lead.
Hunter laid in two off the glass for a four-point lead with 6:27 left in the first half. UConn went on a 10-0 run which included a steal by junior Ketia Swanier (Columbus, Ga.) that Hunter finished for a bucket at the other end.
The Huskies went into the locker room at the halftime break holding a 42-34 advantage.
Greene drove along the baseline to put the Huskies up 50-41 at the 16:18 mark to open the second half. Thomas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give UConn a 62-47 edge with 12:21 on the clock.
Hunter fought under the basket for two points to finish off a 22-8 run the put the Huskies up 64-47. Swanier found the bottom of the net for a 3-pointer with 10:36 to go in the game.
Houston completed a three-point play after being fouled on a jumper to go up 74-59. DePaul fought back to make it a five point game with 2:05 to go, but Houston answered back with a jumper to maintain a 78-71 advantage.
Connecticut close out the game with a 10-5 run to account for the final margin.
The Huskies return to action on Saturday, Jan. 27 when they play host to Notre Dame in a 7:00 p.m. (ET) tip at Gampel Pavilion.
SCOREBOARD 1st 2nd Final DePaul 34 42 76 UConn 42 46 88
ü UConn’s win tonight allowed them to put together its second winning streak of three games or more this season.
ü UConn extends its winning streak vs. non-ranked opponents to 195 consecutive games.
ü UConn improves to 7-0 at Gampel Pavilion this season.
ü UConn opens 7-0 in Big East play for the 10th time since the 1990-91 season.
ü UConn moves to 3-1 all-time vs. DePaul and has now won the last three meetings.
ü UConn has won five of the last six games overall.
ü UConn is 91-7 vs. Big East foes since Jan 18, 2001.
ü Sophomore Kalana Greene’s 25 points marked her fifth consecutive game in double-figure points and her career high for points.
ü Freshman Tina Charles 11 points marked her third straight and 12th game in double-figure points this season.
ü Kalana Greene’s 25 points and 12 rebounds marked her third double-double this season.
ü Charde Houston’s 7 assists are a new career high.
ü Charde Houston’s 19 points marked her 12th game in double-figure points this season.
DePaul Game Notes
ü DePaul is now 1-3 vs. ranked teams.
ü Jenna Rubino moved into a tie for 5th all-time with 156 three-pointers.
ü DePaul’s .485 FG% is highest since season-high .529 vs. Illinois State on November 18, 2006
Post Game Quotes
University of Connecticut
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Is this the consistency that you’ve been looking for out of Kalana Greene?
”Yeah, Kalana’s able to create her own offense. Whether it’s to go get her own shot or go offensive rebound because she’s so difficult to find. I don’t think people expect her to be able to get to the ball that quickly. She’s probably as good as anybody that we’ve had at finishing her shot. She just has a knack for that and right now she’s playing with a lot of confidence. That’s what was missing from her game and it doesn’t look like its missing anymore.”
On DePaul only having seven players:
”(Doug Bruno) has been crying about the fact that they only have seven. They don’t have the wrong seven. No body that can score is missing the games. They still have our guys out there that are as good offensively as any that we’ve played this year. They have the right combination, big quick guards, a couple kids that can put the ball on the floor and dribble by you and a few that can shoot the threes and a big kid that uses her body well inside; and I think its made his life easier. You don’t have to worry about anything and just let them stay out there. If it wasn’t for foul trouble they might have scored 96. They’re a real good ball team to play against; always have been.”
On Brittany Hunter’s contribution to the game:
”I’ve been kind of getting after Brittany a little bit because she’s only going to play so many minutes of the game. In the first half, the first three possessions she was a part of she threw away the ball or got shot over for a lay-up or got called for three seconds. The minutes she’s in have to be really productive minutes. I thought the steal she had in the second half was the first attempt we mad to keep the ball away from that shooter. She made a lot of really good plays.”
Were you surprised at how tough DePaul as for their small size?
“There’s no on that team who’s over 5’11’’ and we didn’t pass the ball to anyone in the lane. We got caught in the first half because we weren’t passing the ball. In the second half we were passing the ball to each other and we were a much better team. I know we need to play quickly, but we were playing way too fast. That’s the way they love to play, too. This team doesn’t care how many field goals you get because they are going to inbound the ball and go try and shoot a three. They’re a very difficult team to play. They’re too small to zone because they put all their guys on the outside. If you play man to man because there would be bad match-ups, so we have to make them pay for it on the other end.”
Can you address the way the team was able to hold DePaul off from coming back tonight?
“We were able to make plays because we just played the game and didn’t think about it. It was about keeping our composure, running our offense, hitting the open player, and knocking down the shots.”
How difficult were they to defend being a rather small team?
“It was very difficult just for the simple fact that not only were they small, but they were all over the place. Whenever they shot it, they were on the offensive boards. Whenever we shot it, they were on the defensive boards. They were just all over the place and they made it difficult especially with them setting as many screens as they did.
On nine consecutive points during the second half:
“It was more of just running the offense and hitting the open person, and that person just happened to be me.”
Is this the type of consistency you have been looking for out of yourself?
“I’m just looking to be aggressive and do whatever my team needs me to do.”
Is there anything you’re doing differently to keep this consistency going?
“Just being focused and aggressive on defense and trying to make plays.”
Goal of tonight’s game:
“Our goal was to push the ball, even if we didn’t have anything just keep pushing and get the other team on their heals and play defense “
On tonight’s game:
“Coming into the game, we knew DePaul is a good team and they have a lot of three point shooters, they set a lot of screens and I think this was the first game that we really had to be eyes wide open because we missed open players who good shots. It looked kind of slow but we stayed together and put out a win.”
On playing more under control:
“I think that it is from maturing and learning and paying more attention and becoming a smarter player.”
Head Coach Doug Bruno
Is this the most competitive your team has been since being so undermanned?
“ It’s been a process learning how to compete with seven players. The low point of the season was the game at Cincinnati, but we’ve been rising out of the ashes since then. It was very important that we play a competitive game tonight. We were playing to win. It was important that our players came out and came after the game. We were very competitive at Marquette as well, and we really put ourselves in a position to beat them
home, so we were competitive against two of the better teams in the Big East. ”
On coming back in the second half:
“ Understanding and overcoming adversity is a major part of why we compete. There ’ s always execution as well. You have to make stops defensively. Offensively we got some key baskets out of our freshmen China Threatt and Sam Quigley. They executed well and made baskets. They had the mental mettle not to give up, and not to play to what the score was, but what the possession was. ”
Do you contribute that to playing against UConn?
“ I would like to think that we would have come back against any team, but this is a great environment and venue to play in. We love playing in a hostile environment where the place is filled, rather than an empty place. Each team is a dynamic itself. When you go from playing one way with nine players to playing with seven that are almost all guards, you have to grow into what you know you are capable of becoming. ”
On Tina Charles:
“All summer Jennifer Rizzoti was telling her, ‘If you think Bruno ’ s crazy, wait until you get to Auriemma.’ I was getting her ready for Geno. She said goodbye to me after the gold and said she’d see me in January. I knew she was going to play when we were playing against her, because my job at USA Basketball was to push people. We pushed Tina very hard this summer, so I knew she was going to have a big game tonight. I think she ’ll have a big game every time we line up against her. She ’ s going to be a great one.”