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The Women’s Beat with Bob Joyce

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The Dog Days of the Season – Back home from the Queen City after an easy win at Cincinnati last night. The starters were more than effective. Stefanie Dolson started by banking in a three, then was a solid 7-10 from the field. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis only took 5 shots, scored 8 pts and was a beast on the boards with 9 rebounds as UConn did the job on the offensive glass, especially in the first half. And ultimately, had a good balance on the score sheet. But the last 13 minutes only produced 11 points from a quintet of 2 soph’s and the 3 freshman. These five (Stewart, Tuck, Jefferson, Banks and Stokes) will see lots of time over the last 11 games of the regular season. Especially the Big East games not involving Notre Dame. It’s their time to be aggressive as they are in practice and assert themselves. Associate Coach Chris Dailey doesn’t care if they’re young. Most of this team has High School All Americans…Now understand, this group will never play as a unit in games against Baylor and ND, but it’s their time to make sure they have the trust of the coaching staff to get playing time come March..and hopefully April.

If there is something that needs to be addressed, it would be the self induced turnovers popping up again. Plenty of unselfishness  on this team, but many times we find UConn’s Guards making some very questionable decisions with the ball that lead to turnovers and ultimately, points for the opposition. Let’s be realistic, you can count on one hand how many of the last 11 games the Huskies will be tested. Start with Baylor and Notre Dame for sure. Maybe the St John’s and USF on the road, but not much else. UConn needs to be mentally tough and stop making poor decisions with the ball, while continue to be aggressive getting to the hoop. Defense has been solid as always. Plus, get players like Hartley and Doty going offensively with consistency.

Harry Paretta and Villanova visit the XL Center Tuesday Night. The Wildctas don’t  expect to be a pushover with an experienced group. You know Harry’s style hasn’t changed a lick. Work the shot clock down to 5, take a good shot. They’ve won 16 games already. But this will be Nova’ most challenging game yet. Yet the focus  has to be on the Huskies themselves.

Monday, we’ll see how much The Lady Vols has adjusted to life under Holly Warlick when they host the Irish Monday. And how about North Carolina’s crazy comeback in the last minute of regulation today at Miami ? More reasons why an ACC Team won’t be in the Final Four again this season….Okay, time for bed. Four hours of sleep is not enough…

Have a good week and see you on the radio :)

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