The Women’s Beat with Bob Joyce
Sooner, not later – Greetings from the snow and cold of Oklahoma ! Granted, it was an inch or two in Oklahoma City/South. Northwest of the city at least 6″ of the white stuff fell and well, you know…They don’t handle snow down here like they do up north.
To say it’s been an eventful 24 hours involving UConn would be an understatement. The coaches have a new boss in Warde Manuel (best o’ luck) Notre Dame lost at home to West Virginia and 7 of the 21 Finalists for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team are former Huskies. And tonight’s game before a large crowd dressed in Pink in Norman isn’t even mentioned….yet :)
11 straight wins have the Huskies tied atop the Big East standings with the Irish. And the same rules apply for success of this UConn team come post season. Good Defense that’s been there all year, consistent offense and keeping the turnovers down. The later two have popped up occasionally this season, especially the 2 losses. But the rough game at Louisville showed it again…Bria Hartley just 5/26 in her last 5 from deep. Keleena Mosqueda-Lewis had a good game Saturday, but needs to put 2, 3, 4 games together of consistent offense. Teams are letting Kelly Faris shoot the ball. She doesn’t need to make them all, but 2 of 4..3 of 6 each night from outside (not just 3pt range) is a must to take some heat off the Hayes, Hartley, KML trio. Caroline Doty gutted out a season high 35 minutes last Tuesday and played well. But she paid a price with some soreness in the left knee and rested some. UConn fan’s know what to expect from her..And the Dolson/Stokes duo in the post starting to take shape. Stokes shooting 74% in her last 4 games is easily the most improved player since January 1st.
Oklahoma was snake bitten by two ACL injuries of potential starters before the season even began. Thus, it’s Whitney Hand, Joanna McFarland and a bunch of youth getting the Sooners back to the NCAA’s. Hand, a redshirt Junior is the heart and soul of this team. Makes hustle plays and is a solid rebounder. Sophomore Guards Aaryn Ellenburg & Morgan Hook start in the backcourt and 6’6″ Center sophomore Nicole Griffin round out the starting 5. 16-7 and 8-4 in the Big XII and 43% shooting could make things interesting tonight with Sherri Coales’ club at home tonight. Especially after what was the worst loss of the Coale Era last season in Hartford.
Hard to believe 2 weeks from tonight, the regular season wraps up. And Saturday is Senior Night at Gampel with Tiffany Hayes and 7 team managers to be honored before the St. John’s game. The Red Storm are 9-3 in the league and have played UConn tough 3 of the last 4 years..Kim Barnes Arico has done a great job in Queens and they’ll be back in the NCAA’s.
Tonight, we’re on at 8:30pm ET from Norman’s Lloyd Noble Center…And please tune in to Joe D’ tonight on Sportstalk at 6:10. Sometime during the show, the new UConn AD Warde Manuel makes a guest appearance. Stay warm all !