UConn First Round Postgame Press Conference – 2022 NCAA Tournament
“By the time you get to this point in the season and you have been paying attention at this point in the season as a player and that is asking a lot, which is playing thirty something games, there really isn’t anything you are gonna see, that you are gonna say you know guys, they run some stuff on offense that we have never seen all year long, so everything that you have seen this time of year, you have seen it before, you have had to guard it you have to have some success with it and then its just a matter of can you get your players to play with a certain intensity level.” UConn Women’s Basketball coach Geno Auriemma comments after their 83-38 win over Mercer.
Going into Saturdays game, the UConn/Storrs bracket, the first game consisted of the number two seed UConn Huskies who come into the tournament on a hot streak and business as usual. The Huskies have won ten straight games after the loss to there conference rival Villanova and had just recently wrapped up the Big East championship tournament. Mercer who even though was the No 16 seed was on a hot streak also, they had won twelve straight games including the Southern Conference championship, the Bears had not lost a game since January 20 th against Furman.
When the game first started, the game was not going as expected, as the the Huskies were only leading 17-9 by the end of the first period and to be honest they were lucky, they were ahead by that many. If Mercer was hitting there shots, they would have only been trailing by one point or even leading, but on the offensive side of the ball they could not produce. Mercer was rebounding and playing defense well, but thanks to UConn defense they could not get anything else going, as they only shot 25% from the field. Chrstyn Williams was leading the charge with seven at that point. The second period did not get any better for Mercer as UConn started off on a 5-0 run, then the Bears leading point guard (Amoria Neal Tysor) went down hard on her elbow and came back out, with her arm in a sling in the third period, not to mention midway through the second period, UConn went on another run and created an 18 point lead (32-14). By the end of the first period the Huskies had a commanding twenty point lead, Meanwhile Mercer was trying to hang in there on defense, but was still shooting poorly and it was not going to get any better for the second half and especially for the third period.
By the third period, Mercer’s offensive issues reared its ugly head in the third period and they were never able to recover. In the first four minutes of the game, UConn went on a 9-0 run forcing Mercer to call a timeout and then UConn went on another 5-0, before Mercer calling another timeout. By the end of the period, UConn had scored 20 straight points and kept Mercer scoreless the whole period. UConn ended the period with a 40 point lead (63-23). Even though in the next period, Mercer put up 15 points, it was to late to make a run, but to still finish strong, as they were defeated 83-38. After the game coach Susie Gardner addressed her issues in the press conference, where she stated that once her guard went down, they did not have anyone on the floor that could run their offense like Neal-Tysor. She also stated that even though she is proud of how her team fought that day and all of the accomplishments that they had this season, including the 12 game winning streak and winning the Souther Conference tournament, they have to get better. Gardner stated that it starts with her with working on getting better for next season and also recruiting kids bigger stronger and faster, if they want to advance in this tournament. As
she said, it is no longer the standard, just to get here, but to get here and advance. Coach Amuriemna was happy with the way his team performed and was awaiting the winner of the UCF/Florida game, but what he did not know and probably did not expect, was the next game was going to challenge his team to the end, stay tuned!