The Women’s Beat with Bob Joyce – Surviving Waco
Good Morning from DFW Airport…Massive, yet very organized. Nothing like what we saw last night in Waco where the Top Ranked UConn Women FINALLY got someone’s best shot for 40 minutes..and lived to tell about it. The Young Baylor Lady Bears gave UConn all they could handle despite Odessey Sims 4-25 from the field effort. Ultimately, UConn made enough plays over the last 10:33 to get the job done. And no surprise, it was the seniors who led the way. Bria Hartley, who scored 13 of her 17 in the second half was challenged by the staff to pick it up and to stop fouling Sims, who was 10-10 from the line in the first half. Between the offense and the defensive effort by her and Moriah Jefferson were more than enough to frustrate the 2-time All American Guard. And a great point from my son last night watching at home. Of Sims 25 FGA, how many times were her feet set ? It seemed more times than not, Sims was throwing up runners hoping for contact and fouls…Not so much in the second half.
Then there is Jefferson, the Sophomore who grew up just south of Dallas, was great scoring in the first half..Finishing with 13 pt, 5 assists and ZERO turnovers..She just gets better and better with every game. And it was a pleasure to meet her parents..Her dad listens to us on the web every game..Just as you can via Huskies All Access.
There were two issues that need to be addressed. Both Deb and CD mentioned the Huskies simply did not get the ball in the post enough last night. Stefanie Dolson is the best post player in America and it seemed at times the UConn abandoned the interior game. That has to change, especially w Dolson in the lineup. Then there is the poise factor. When Baylor got the lead down to one, UConn made many of the same errors that hurt them against the Bears and Irish last season. If Baylor had been a more mature group as a whole, the Bears home win streak might have been at 70 this morning. But Stef made sure she was involved in that final 16-6 spurt over the last 10 minutes.
Let’s be honest, UConn needed a game like this, badly. Having to gut one out when the team didn’t play it’s best basketball. And that’s exactly what they got as the offensive minded Bears were held 40 points below it’s average. So now it’s back to conference play for the remainder of the season, starting with a trip to #23 Rutgers Sunday. Last call at the RAC for the Huskies as conference foes.
On a sad note, Duke’s chances at the Final Four took a huge hit when Senior Guard Chelsea Gray broke her right knee cap Sunday. The same one she broke last season. Her career is done in Durham and now Alexis Jones has to shoulder the load at the point if the Blue Devils have their sights set on Nashville. This also diminishes their chances of beating Notre Dame for the ACC Crown.
Hope all of you have a great week..And don’t forget that College Gameday comes to Gampel this Saturday..Just in time for the students to return to campus before the Men host Louisville Saturday Night. Let’s hope it’s a great atmosphere…#bleedblue :)