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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Huskies in town to seek 10th. BIG EAST Win

.
TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-#3 UConn set to play Lady Cards at YUM! tonight.

-Final pre-game thoughts from Jenny

Dolson leads UConn
in rebounding
Geno Aureimma brings the third ranked Connecticut women's basketball team to the KFC YUM! Center for a 7 p.m. matchup against the #14 UofL Cardinals WBB squad.

The game will be shown on CBS Sports Network.

Hayes is a scoring machine
Tough task ahead for Jeff Walz's Lady Cards. UConn (21-2, 9-1) has won the last ten against Louisville. You have to go back to 1993 to find a Cardinal win over the Huskies. UConn leads the series 10-1.

Geno's crew was impressive in their last outing, demolishing #13 Rutgers 66-34 at Gampel Pavillion. Sophomore Stefanie Dolson led the Husky charge with 16 points and senior guard Tiffany Hayes added 14 for UConn. 

Hartley has had an
excellent sophomore
year
UConn has four in double figures for the season. Besides Hayes and Dolson, sophomore Bria Hartley averages 14.3 a game and freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis contributes 14 a contest. Kelly Faris, a junior guard, has 57 steals on the year.

Louisville has lost two on the road leading up to tonight's game. Louisville is 9-0 in the KFC YUM! Center this season and 22-2 lifetime.

Kallen Mosqueda-Lewis
is a multiple BIG EAST
freshman of the week
award winner
The Cards (17-6, 6-4) will have their hands full with the guard combo of Hayes and Hartley, the defense, rebounding and scoring of Dolson, defensive play of Faris, Caroline Doty and Mosqueda-Lewis. UConn excels at a breakneck, up and down the court pace and thrives on the transition game.

We'll have a full recap for you tonight after the action.

*************************************************************************

(Jenny's take...)

The Huskies are beatable...as has been evidenced twice this season. It will be no small task to topple them. If the Lady Cards are to compete with UConn, here are my keys to the game:

--Louisville MUST start strong, play strong and end strong. They'll get buried with a slow start. No offensive lapses. Minutes gone by with no points and turnovers will spell defeat. Forty strong minutes needed from the five players on the court.

--Taking care of the ball. Each possession valued. The Huskies play very good defense and will work to create Lady Cards turnovers. Mental mistakes not needed tonight. Value each and every possession.

--Home court advantage. We can help them with this, as fans. We are that "6th player" tonight. It is our job to keep the energy high and help feed our team. They feed off our energy. We have to be present, loud and rowdy to entire 40 minutes. Our girls deserve no less.

For UConn...the first seven players to see the court are lethal in their own ways. Each one a weapon that needs to be defended.

Tiffany Hayes and Bria Hartley (senior and sophomore) are the consistent offensive threats. Every Husky can shoot, mind you. These two do it the best and must be contained. If the defense can do this, the Lady Cards have a chance. It's no small task, though...

Stephanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes are the "bigs" in the paint. Stokes, a freshman, spells the sophomore Dolson. Dolson has been prone to some foul trouble lately. If UofL's "bigs" can play strong and clean, get Dolson in early foul trouble...it will help Louisville in this game. Stokes is no walk in the park, though. She had a good effort against Brittany Griner of Baylor. Regardless of the "big" in at the time...defense is job #1 on them and blocking out mandatory.

Kelly Faris and Caroline Doty are both intelligent players. They see the floor. They assist the shot and can take the shot. Doty, despite the chronic knee trouble, is playing quite well recently. Faris can do anything asked of her and leads UConn in steals. Two dangerous players.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (KML) is usually first off the bench. She has a pretty shot, great moves. Gets compared to Maya Moore a lot. This freshman will be the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. Another sniper in the bushes, she'll shoot opponents down with her accuracy and speed.

Know this.

The Huskies do not take a game, or any minutes, off. They may start out of synch occasionally...but it doesn't last long. A Lady Cards early lead would be great. A Lady Cards early clunker will be disastrous.

Personally, for me...a successful game against the Huskies does not have to end up in the win column. It would be great, of course, but there are other things that can come out of tonight's game that can be considered a success.

Keeping the game close. Finding ways to shut down their best players. Playing hard for forty minutes. Louisville's got to give it 40 minutes tonight. Their best 40 minutes of the season. Give me that, Lady Cards, and I'll be happy.

Anything less than that spells U-G-L-Y. Play with the enthusiasm you did in the first 14 minutes at West Virginia and extend it another 26 tonight. Good luck !!

(Thanks, Jenny for the insights and observations! A tough task, yeah..you betcha. Difficult? Oh, yeah. Impossible?
No. Exciting? WE hope so. See you after the game with the results.)
..
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