Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Guru's College Report: UConn's Stewart Towers Over Cal in Maggie Dixon Classic

Guru note: Rob Knox over the next 24 hours will be filling features on St. John's Aliyyah Handford and Cal's Brittany Boyd.

By Mel Greenberg

NEW YORK -- In a city well known for its tall buildings that scrape the sky, Connecticut sophomore Breanna Stewart continued to establish herself Sunday afternoon as one of the all-time edifices in the women's game.

Stewart, only the second freshman named as the Most Outstanding Player of the Women's Final Four in April when UConn claimed its record-tying eighth NCAA title, scored early and often against No. 21 California and finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds as the unbeaten and top-ranked Huskies rolled to an 80-47 triumph in the second game of the annual Maggie Dixon Classic in Madison Square Garden.

In the opener, local favorite St. John's, which has struggled this season, grabbed an impressive 72-70 victory over Texas A&M as Aliyyah Handford made the winning shot with two seconds left and collected 27 points to improve the Red Storm record to 6-4.

Eugeneia McPherson also scored in double figures with 14 points,

The Aggies (7-4), who had been ranked early in the season, got 15 points from Karla Gilbert and 13 from Courtney Williams,

But Stewart, as she was during the entire March Madness run last spring, was the story of the day after following up Tuesday night's performance when she scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in UConn's domination of No. 2 Duke 83-61 in Durham, N.C.

Coincidentally the same event earned Stewart and Handford separate player of the week honors on Monday from The American and Big East conferences.

As for the game details against Cal (7-3), which reached its first Women's Final Four last season, the Bears stayed with the Huskies for 10 minutes and then the separation began.

"I thought the first game at The Garden was a lot of fun," said Stewart, participating in UConn's fourth appearance here -- all victories.

"Obviously, the first five-ten minutes were pretty ugly as a team, but once we settled down it made that lot of fun for our team," Stewart said.

"I was trying to be more aggressive to help get the team going, help get some points on the board and eventually the rest of the team followed," she added.

"These are the games you really look forward to playing. Duke and Cal are tough teams and especially when you are playing at The Garden; it's something you don't do very often. If you can't get up for this game, that's a problem," Stewart continued.

"It didn't feel that different, the court is still the same basketball game. Obviously, we're playing at Madison Square Garden, but our fans that were here really helped to make the atmosphere feel just like Gampel," she said of the Huskies' Gampel Pavilion Arena in Storrs, near Hartford.

The crowd was 5,468 for the event named for the late Army coach Maggie Dixon, who died suddenly from a heart problem in March 2006 just several weeks when as a rookie coach the former DePaul assistant had guided the Black Knights to their first Patriot League title and appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Her brother Jamie, who coaches the Pittsburgh men, was here as were several other family members.

The crowd also included former Huskies star guard Caroline Doty, the Germantown Academy graduate from Doylestown, north of Philadelphia, who graduated after last season and now works for Nike in Portland, Ore., but was home over the holidays and came with members of her family.

Morgan Tuck, recently returned from surgery, had 12 points in the Huskies' attack, while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, also recently returned in the Duke game, had 10 points while Stefanie Dolson grabbed 11 rebounds.

No one on the Bears got into double figures as star Brittany Boyd and Hind Ben Abdelkader came the closest with nine points each.

The statistical comparisons in the latest demolition by the Huskies showed 40-28 in the paint, 17-9 in points off turnovers, 10-0 in second chance points, and 27-14 in terms of output from both teams' reserves.

A special highlight happened near the end of the game when Huskies walk-on Tierney Lawlor nailed a three-pointer with 18 seconds left.

A year ago this time Stewart, who hails from upstate in Syracuse, was struggling after arriving at UConn as another in a long list of newcomers who had been the national high school player of the year.

She then blossomed once the lights went on with the NCAA tournament under way.

"Being consistent is one of the things I want to focus this year," Stewart said. "I''m more confident on the court, smarter on the court and really working harder in practice and I think it's paying off in the end."

Considering that six former Connecticut superstars who perform in the WNBA played on their Hall of Fame collegiate coach Geno Auriemma's gold-medal Olympic squad in the London Games in August, 2012, the Huskies mentor made a remarkable comparison in praising Stewart.

"We've never had someone like Breanna Stewart and we've had some of the greatest players to play college basketball," Auriemma said. "Maya Moore was unique. And (Diana) Taurasi was unique. We've had an incredible amount of great players but I don't think we've had anybody ...

"She makes it an impossible matchup for any body, unless you have a 6-4 big kid you can put on her for 40 minutes, you can't stop her from scoring because any big kid is just too big and a guard, she just shoots right over you," Auriemma said.

"We've talked about getting her 20 shots every game -- I've never done that with any other player. That's one she has to get better at -- finding shots. The ball usually finds great players. They always seem to be around the basketball.

"With Stewie, we've sometimes have had to orchestrate things around her to make sure she gets enough shots like we did toward the end of the half."

From the other side, Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said, "We have a pretty darn good player in our back yard in (Stanford's) Chiney Ogwumike, but there's nothing Breanna Stewart can't do and I think every team in the WNBA would take her first if she was coming out this year.

"I'm always impressed with how easy she makes it look effortless and her skill set at that size -- if you see it up close it's even more impressive. To do that as a sophomore in college and do that on a big stage as a basketball person you can't take those kind of performances for granted because you don't see them that often," Gottlieb said.

"She played like the superstar college basketball all-American that she is and we're lucky to have someone at that talent level."

Meanwhile, other than Baylor, UConn is done with its non-conference slate and next Sunday opens its first run in the new American Conference hosting Cincinnati and former assistant Jamelle Elliott whom the Huskies played in the old Big East.

Temple visits January 11th in Bridgeport, Conn., aa first in terms of regular season play as a home site in the Webster Bank Arena. UConn returns the Owls' visit January 28th.

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

5 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 10.08
nike free, michael kors, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses, nike outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet online, uggs on sale, michael kors handbags, chanel handbags, burberry outlet, louis vuitton handbags, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade, uggs on sale, louboutin shoes, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ralph lauren polo, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ralph lauren outlet, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, burberry factory outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet, gucci handbags, louboutin uk, cheap jordans, replica watches, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, uggs outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, uggs outlet

2:42 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

converse, longchamp pas cher, nike air max, coach outlet store online, longchamp soldes, hogan sito ufficiale, new balance, coach purses, nike roshe uk, hollister uk, vans pas cher, nike air max pas cher, lunette oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet online, burberry pas cher, abercrombie and fitch UK, polo ralph lauren uk, vanessa bruno pas cher, mulberry uk, abercrombie and fitch, hermes pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors, coach outlet, nike roshe run pas cher, michael kors uk, coach outlet, true religion outlet, lululemon outlet, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free, north face uk, polo lacoste pas cher, true religion outlet, nike air force, north face pas cher, nike free pas cher, kate spade outlet, nike tn pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, louboutin pas cher, timberland pas cher, true religion outlet, sac guess pas cher, jordan pas cher, ray ban uk, lunette ray ban pas cher

2:45 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike trainers uk, nike air max, lululemon outlet, nike roshe run, salvatore ferragamo, soccer shoes, ghd hair, beats by dre, new balance shoes, louboutin, nike air huarache, mcm handbags, softball bats, vans scarpe, polo ralph lauren, abercrombie and fitch, wedding dresses, babyliss pro, abercrombie, chi flat iron, converse shoes outlet, hollister clothing, herve leger, instyler ionic styler, p90x workout, ray ban, oakley, converse, mac cosmetics, hollister, longchamp uk, jimmy choo outlet, valentino shoes, iphone cases, north face outlet, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, hermes handbags, vans outlet, giuseppe zanotti, asics running shoes, nfl jerseys, reebok outlet, gucci, celine handbags, mont blanc, insanity workout, nike air max, north face outlet, timberland boots, michael kors, longchamp bags

2:49 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

canada goose jackets, ugg uk, toms shoes, swarovski jewelry, barbour jackets uk, doke & gabbana, moncler pas cher, moncler jackets, moncler, montre pas cher, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, links of london uk, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose uk, moncler uk, michael kors outlet, pandora uk, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora jewelry, canada goose jackets, ugg pas cher, moncler, thomas sabo uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, barbour, canada goose pas cher, karen millen uk, hollister, michael kors outlet online, sac louis vuitton, michael kors handbags, wedding dresses uk, sac louis vuitton, coach outlet, louis vuitton, bottes ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, swarovski uk, moncler, canada goose, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton uk, lancel, replica watches, canada goose outlet, moncler
ninest123 10.08

2:52 AM  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

cheap nike shoes
ugg boots sale
ray-ban sunglasses
nba jerseys
ugg boots
louis vuitton,borse louis vuitton,louis vuitton sito ufficiale,louis vuitton outlet
rolex watches,rolex watches,swiss watches,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors uk
oakley canada
ralph lauren outlet
tods shoes
michael kors uk
rolex watches,rolex,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
snapbacks wholesale
toms outlet store
hermes outlet
air force 1 shoes
tory burch outlet online
chicago blackhawks
mm1225

10:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home