Print this story

Huskies look to move on to the Elite 8.

POSTED March 28, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


ALBANY, NEW YORK: Its four wins to 10.

That’s what the UConn women are looking to pull off between now and a week for Tuesday when they hope to bring back their second consecutive NCAA women’s basketball crown and they’re 10th overall.

The Sweet 16 is about to get underway here in the New York State Capital after four teams punched their tickets to the Elite 8 on Friday night.

UConn, ranked number 1 in the country, is facing the fifth ranked Texas Longhorns at noon followed by a match-up between Louisville (#3) and Dayton (#7) at approximately 2:20.

On Friday night, Notre Dame, Baylor, South Carolina and Florida State moved on with the Gamecocks and Seminoles playing tight contests in moving on while the Fighting Irish and Bears had easier times getting one step closer to the Final Four in Tampa, Florida next Sunday.

Two other games will be played later today in the Spokane Regional with Maryland (1) and Duke (4) doing battle at 4:30 followed by a Gonzaga (11) versus Tennessee (2) game at 7 p.m.

All the top seeds are still in action, the Gonzaga team is the lowest seed left standing going into action on Saturday.

For the Huskies, getting by a stubborn Texas team will mean getting past the Longhorns height which is considerable.

Imani McGee-Stafford, a center who stands 6’7”, has been coming on of late, averaging nearly 20-points per game over her last three.

This is a Texas team that slumped badly during the middle of their season but played much better down the stretch after dealing with multiple injuries to key players, forcing a re-made starting five that should be strong underneath.

Sophomore Kelsey Lang and freshman Brooke McCarty have played important roles off the bench for the Longhorns, both helping take the load after the team lost their best player, Nneka Enemkpali to a knee injury earlier this season.

For the Huskies, no game will feature teams that they might roll over with ease at this point.

As we have seen on several occasions this year though, when UConn has had to up their game (see Duke, Notre Dame and South Carolina) they have done so with ease.

Go up and down the Huskies starting lineup and all you see is players playing tremendous basketball at just the right time.

It all starts with junior guard, Moriah Jefferson who is the conductor for an offense that can throw 100 on a team in you are not careful.

Her ability to create on offense is unparalled in the country at the moment and the junior has flourished feeding any number of All-Americans this year.   

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is within six three pointers of setting the all-time record and has the potential of four more games to get there.

Breanna Stewart has been known to come up huge in situations like this in the past, it’s led her to consecutive Player of the Year awards her first two years at UConn.

Morgan Tuck has arguably been the most improved player in the country since returning from injury a year ago.

Add Kia Nurse, who has shown signs of brilliance this season, Kiah Skokes who continues to break record by blocking shots at a ridiculous pace and Gabby Williams, who can jump out of the gym and you have a very hard recipe for anyone left in the dance to duplicate.

It looks like it will be the Huskies year but, larger upsets have happened.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here