UConn routs UCLA with plenty in reserve

By Carl Adamec

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — As the starters for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team made their way onto the floor at Mohegan Sun Arena for the opening tip Sunday, senior Kiah Stokes rounded up the reserves.

“The starting five has their little huddle and we on the bench have a huddle,” Stokes said. “I said, ‘Listen guys, I know we’re all thinking about going home. But that’s tomorrow and after the game. We have to stay focused.’ Once you’re playing, though, you’re not thinking about going home. You want to get this rebound, you want to get this block, you want to finish this shot, you want to win.”

Certainly the starters — led by All-American Breanna Stewart and freshman Kia Nurse — did their parts. But the play of the UConn bench played a big role as the second-ranked Huskies headed home for Christmas after walloping UCLA 86-50 before a crowd of 8,015 in the Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge.
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Notebook: UConn, Nebraska working on deal

By Carl Adamec

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Geno Auriemma addressed the fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena last March 31 after his University of Connecticut women’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Final Four by winning a regional title in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Impressed by the show of support of Cornhuskers’ fans even though their team was eliminated in the second round, Auriemma closed by saying, “We’ll be back.”
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UConn’s Stokes on a roll on and off the court

By Carl Adamec

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Kiah Stokes has had a December to remember.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s senior center came off the bench to contribute six points along with a game-changing defensive effort which included 18 rebounds and three blocked shots in the Huskies’ win at Notre Dame on Dec. 6. That night she was able to be at Purcell Pavilion to watch for the first time her older brother, Darius, play collegiately as he and Fairleigh Dickinson took on the Irish in South Bend.

On Friday afternoon it was learned that Stokes had compiled a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the fall semester. Then Friday night, she contributed four points, eight rebounds, and three blocks in No. 2 UConn’s 98-64 win over 25th-ranked DePaul at Webster Bank Arena.
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Huskies’ Jefferson hoping to raise level of play

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Moriah Jefferson had plenty to think about during the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s 12-day break for fall semester final exams.

Off the court, it was the stress that comes with taking final exams.

On the court, it was the wait to get back into game action after a performance that the junior point guard called — her word — terrible.

When the second-ranked Huskies take on No. 25 DePaul Friday at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport (7:30 p.m., SNY) it will be their first contest since their impressive 18-point win at Notre Dame on Dec. 6, though a game Jefferson struggled through.
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UConn schedules visit to giant-killer Chattanooga

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — The University of Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Tennessee women’s basketball teams have combined to win 20 national championships and make 51 NCAA Final Four appearances.

And in about a one-year span, all four will have played at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee, against UTC.

The Mocs stunned then-No. 4 Tennessee on Nov. 26 and followed that up Wednesday with a 54-46 upset of No. 7 Stanford. UConn will start a home-and-home series with UTC in Chattanooga next season, while Notre Dame will also visit Chattanooga in 2015-16 to wrap up a home-and-home that started with a game in South Bend last month.
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