No. 22 Miami Falls At No. 4 Connecticut, 83-65
Feb 8, 2004
By DONNA TOMMELLEO
AP Sports Writer
STORRS, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut was even more energized than coach GenoAuriemma expected.
Despite a season-high 33 turnovers, No. 4 Connecticut defeated No. 22 Miami83-65 on Sunday in its first game since beating top-ranked Tennessee onThursday.
“They were keyed up to play well,” Auriemma said. “We ran some greatstuff on offense. It wasn’t anything I didn’t expect. What I didn’t expect waswe either cross halfcourt and score or cross halfcourt and throw it away.”
Miami’s quickness and UConn’s errant passes resulted in 21 steals for theHurricanes, who still were unable to stop Diana Taurasi and Ashley Battle.
Taurasi had 21 points and six steals, but she also had a team-high eightturnovers. Battle added a career-high 18 points for the Huskies (18-2, 8-1 BigEast).
“They were pretty aggressive on defense,” Battle said. “Sometimes thatkind of forces you to rush a little bit. When we held onto the ball, we playedawesome.”
“In the beginning of the game we were patient and did a lot of goodthings.”
The Huskies dominated inside, outrebounding Miami 46-30 and outscoring theHurricanes 42-26 in the paint. When their offense was clicking, the Huskiesscored on crisp backdoor cuts and finished strong off fastbreaks.
“I think we were in a little bit of a hurry to hurry up and get it done,”Auriemma said. “It was good for us to see that’s not us. We can’t play quickerthan a quick team. That’s not our style.”
UConn was up by 25 early in the second half. Battle had six points in a 9-0second half run, capped by Willnett Crocket’s layup that gave UConn its largestlead at 58-33.
But the Hurricanes continued to press late in the game and took advantage ofUConn turnovers, cutting the lead to 14 against the UConn reserves with underthree minutes to play. The starters returned and the Huskies regained control.
“In the beginning of the game we were patient and did a lot of goodthings,” Miami coach Ferne Labati said. “We ended up taking quick shots andbad shots. (UConn) controlled the boards from the get-go. That was a majorfactor.”
Miami scored 20 points off UConn turnovers while the Huskies convertedMiami’s 23 miscues into 24 points.
The 33 turnovers were the most for UConn since the 1994-95 season.
“Obviously you don’t want to concentrate on the things we didn’t do well,”Taurasi said. “But it shows we have a long way to go when we have only eightturnovers against Tennessee and then quadruple that today.”