No. 2 UConn routs A&M
Women's basketball drops third straight, 50-81
Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012 22:11
A stretch of three non-conference, top-10 matchups to begin the season ended as the No. 16 Aggies fell behind early to No. 2 UConn and never threatened. The Huskies used a 41-22 second half to bury A&M at Reed, 81-50.
A&M dropped to 0-3 with the loss after falling to No. 9 Louisville and No. 9 Penn State.
Freshman guard Courtney Walker paced the Aggies with a career-best 20 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“My shot was just falling today,” Walker said. “I trusted my shot a little more and started shooting to make it rather than shooting because I’m open.”
But UConn was too much, particularly in the post. A&M head coach Gary Blair said the basketball savvy of the UConn personnel trumped that of his roster.
“UConn was pretty much in mid-season form,” Blair said. “Most of their shots were wide open. Their ball movement and their ball skills are great. Their kids understand the game a little bit better than mine."
Junior center Stefanie Dolson had 24 for the Huskies – 20 in the first half, including a jumper to beat the halftime buzzer. UConn had four players in double figures and shot 56.1% from the field.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma saidDolson’s style of play mirrors that of his program.
“In the first half, Stefanie carried us,” Auriemma said. “She was unbelievable. She’s the personality of our team. The way she played, that’s our team. With her footwork and her mobility and where she’s at mentally, if we throw it to her something good is going to happen."
The success of the interior game opened the wings for the Huskies and their three-point shooters, who made 7-16 from behind the arc.
Dolson said the outside shooting paved the way for her success.
“The last couple of games, we’ve shown we can shoot the ball, which spreads the floor and makes my job a lot easier in the paint,” Dolson said.
Junior center Kelsey Bone struggled to find her rhythm, finishing with eight points and three rebounds. At times, head coach Gary Blair went with lineups featuring as many as four freshmen, but the Aggies couldn’t close the gap no matter how creative the lineup.
UConn established Dolson on the way to an 11-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Bone missed a pair from the field, two Aggie layups were wiped away for traveling violations and Bone was relegated to the bench after being called for an intentional foul that put the momentum firmly in the hands of the visitors.
Blair said the losses could help shape the team in a positive manner moving forward.
“Sometimes you have to take a little butt-kicking to figure out who you are and find your identity,” Blair said. “If we play the blame game, we won’t get better as a basketball team.”
A&M next takes the court against Liberty on Tuesday.
“My thought right now is give me liberty or give me death on Tuesday,” Blair said. “We’re pretty close to death right now.”