Monday, January 21, 2013

3/2 Connecticut Huskies (17-1, 4-1 BE)

Results: Connecticut 79, Duke 49
Player of the Game: Sr. G Kelly Faris (18p, 12r, 6a, 2s, 31m)
Def. Player of the Game: Sr. G Kelly Faris (5dr, 2s, 31m)
Fr. Player of the Game: Fr. F Breanna Stewart (13p, 5r, 3b, 22m)
Stat of the Game: 2nd-half Pts. Off TOs: UConn 17, Duke 0

Summary: The rest of the country finally got to see what UConn fans have known all along tonight. That despite her stats, UConn All-American candidate Sr. G Kelly Faris is, without question, UConn's heart & soul and the team's MVP. And despite UConn's lofty record, Geno Auriemma admitted something has been missing from his team. The Huskies may have finally found it. UConn turned a 2-pt. halftime lead over the previously unbeaten 4/4 Duke Blue Devils into a rout playing a nearly flawless second half. Faris was everywhere, finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead UConn to a 79-49 victory over the Blue Devils. The senior guard seemed to get her hand on every loose ball and also shut down Duke All-American candidate Jr. PG Chelsea Gray. Auriemma gave Faris a giant hug when he took her out of the game with 1:36 left. Usually that show of emotion is saved for the end of the season. The Blue Devils were the last unbeaten team in men's or women's Division I basketball. The last time the Blue Devils came up to Connecticut two years ago they were also unbeaten and the Huskies had one loss. UConn won that game 87-51.

"The last 20 minutes of the game was as much fun as I've had in a long, long time," Auriemma said. A fiery halftime speech from the Hall of Fame coach seemed to have sparked his team. "Tonight the frustration came out of me in the locker room. Kelly (Faris) turned all that frustration into concentration and aggressiveness that helped us find a little bit of what was missing. ... Now the key is holding on to it and adding to it. There have been some legends wearing that Connecticut uniform," Auriemma said. "I don't know if anyone represented that uniform, herself, her family the way that kid did tonight. I know there are a lot of players out there that are really good. I know there are a lot of All-Americans who have played here. That was one for the ages right there."

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