Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Monday, April 05, 2010

UConn prevailed over Baylor, in an exciting game that felt a lot closer than the box score made it seem.

Early in the second half Maya kept on launching airballs, Baylor's guards lit up, and the Bears came within three. Then Maya found her jump shot again, Tina Charles found her fantastic hook shot (I've never seen a college player make so many hook shots in a row), and UConn's defense returned to form. Maya and Tina scored almost all UConn's field goals: "they pretty much did it all by themselves," Geno said.

"I liked coaching tonight," he added. "We feel like we really earned that win."

Both coaches looked smart: Baylor's first-half switch to a zone troubled UConn's game plan, and coach Mulkey's apparent decision to use up a lot of clock on most possessions seemed to frustrate UConn and to calm her team down. The Huskies defended well in the first half, except that they just kept picking up fouls: Hayes and Doty both finished with four.

But Geno tired Baylor's youngsters out pretty thoroughly: the Huskies took advantage of their experience, and their superior rebounding skills. (If Baylor ever figures out how to corral all the shots Griner alters or blocks, rather than letting them turn into offensive rebounds, those blocks are going to have a lot more effect on the final scores of her games.)

"We responded like that because coach Auriemma puts us through that in practice," Charles said. "We knew we could do it."

UConn's own site has quite the remarkable UConn-Stanford statistical comparison already up. (Kudos to the sports information folks there-- who can't have been much surprised.)