Another Huge Win For UConn

By Richard Kent
Updated: February 6, 2009

HARTFORD — It’s all in the box score. The entire game devolves into a review of the stats. UConn beat Rutgers 75-56 this past Tuesday at the Hartford Civic Center.

Rutgers held Connecticut to its lowest first half field goal percentage of the season, but the second half was a different story and that story is representative of the season’s thus far of the Scarlet Knights and Huskies.

UConn jumped out in the game to a 15-8 lead, but Rutgers answered with 11 straight points keyed by Kia Vaughn. She had six straight points. The Lady Huskies took a 34-28 lead into the locker room.

UConn came out of the locker room with fire and Rutgers was lackadaisical and leaderless in the second half, factors that have plagued the team all season.

Inexplicably, Vaughn did not score in the second half and had very few touches. Rutgers seemed content to play a perimeter offense and Coach C. Vivian Stringer did little if any to adjust.

Vaughn had had her way with UConn centers Tina Charles and Kaili McLaren in the first half. The vaunted Rutgers freshmen class did not score. On the other hand frosh Tiffany Hayes from UConn had 13 points including 3-of-6 shooting from three point land.

Coach Auriemma from UConn is a master at integrating all his players into his offense from the beginning of the season. He even started a freshman this year.

Coach Stringer decided to play the frosh sparingly in the first half of the season, despite the fact that there were many easy wins in which she could have inserted the frosh to give them valuable experience for Big East play.

Stringer’s team also did not display the tenacity in the second half that it had displayed in the first half. She has had a storied career and has brought three different schools to the Final Four.

She’s never won a National Championship and has been in two title games.

Under Auriemma, UConn has won five National Championships and is gunning for a sixth this year. They are a prohibitive favorite.