Dolson and No. 2 UConn romp past No. 16 Texas A&M 81-50

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Stefanie Dolson scored 24 points to lead No. 2 Connecticut to an 81-50 romp of No. 16 Texas A&M on Sunday.

The Huskies (2-0) hammered the Aggies (0-3) in the paint 42-12, as A&M had no answer for the 6-foot-5 Dolson, a preseason All-Big East first team selection, and forwards Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (16 points) and Breanna Stewart (11 points) down low.

Courtney Walker led A&M with 20 points, the only Aggie to score in double figures.

The Huskies continually worked the ball around the perimeter and inside, in tallying 27 assists to the Aggies' 14.

UConn is likely to slide into the top ranking after defending national champion Baylor fell to No. 4 Stanford 71-69 in the first game of the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Hawaii on Friday.

A&M had fewer turnovers (15 To UConn's 17), but the Huskies outscored the Aggies 14-5 off turnovers. The Aggies shot a season-low 30 percent (18 of 60), while UConn countered with 56.1 percent (32 of 57) from the field.

The youthful Aggies, the 2011 national champions, have lost to three top-10 teams this season in Louisville, Penn State and now UConn.

Texas A&M Women’s Basketball
Postgame Notes
Connecticut 81, Texas A&M 50
Nov. 18, 2012 ● Reed Arena

● Texas A&M fell to 0-3 on the season while UConn improved to 2-0.
● Wednesday’s game was the second meeting of the two schools, with the win UConn improved to 2-0 all-time against Texas A&M.

● The Aggies were outrebounded for the first time this year by UConn, 40-28.
● The maroon and white collected a season low 12 offensive rebounds, scoring only five second chance points on the day.
● Texas A&M was 18-60 for 30% shooting from the floor, making three of 11 3-point attempts.
●The Aggies made 10 steals on the night, but were outscored 14-5 on points off turnovers.
● A&M made it to the free-throw line 14 times on the night and made 11 for a season high 78.6 % from the free-throw line.
● The Aggies fell to 0-3 for the first time in program history, Texas A&M opened the season with three consecutive top-ten opponents.

● Freshman Courtney Walker tallied highs in several categories including points (20), rebounds (7) and free-throws (6/6). Walker was 7 –for-12 from the floor and played 38 minutes.
● Junior Kelsey Bone was held below double-digit scoring for the first time this season, with eight points. Bone played a season low 25 minutes.
● Freshman Courtney Williams had the best game of her career scoring seven points on two 3-pointers and a made free-throw. Williams played a season high 20 minutes.

● Texas A&M trailed 40-28 after 20 minutes of play … UConn led by 13 points 10 minutes into the game.
● A&M forced 10 turnovers in the first half and resulting in four points.
● Courtney Walker led the Aggies with 14 points at the break. Stefanie Dolson of UConn had 20 points in the first half.

● The Huskies outscored the Aggies 26-8 over the first ten minutes of the second half extending their lead to 28 with ten minutes remaining in the game. UConn’s largest lead was 34 with just over four minutes remaining in the game.
● Connecticut outrebounded Texas A&M 21-10 in the second half. UConn assisted on 12 of their 14 field goals in the period, shooting 14-of-22 over the final 20 minutes.
● Kelly Faris of UConn scored all 10 of her points in the second half, she was 4-for-4 from the floor making both of her three point attempts on the night.

● The Aggies host the Liberty Flames at 7:00 pm on Tuesday.
● UConn will travel to the US Virgin Islands to face Wake Forest on Thursday in the Paradise Jam.

Texas A&M Women’s Basketball
Postgame Notes
Connecticut 81, Texas A&M 50
Nov. 18, 2012 ● Reed Arena

UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma
(On improvement in second half)
We were just talking in the locker room about how we are playing on the road early in the season. You are going to be playing a lot of young guys. You never know what it is going to be like going into the game. I think the first half was about what I thought it would be. We looked really good at times and we looked really shaky at times. Other than that, when we came out in the second half I thought we had our tempo going and we played the way we like to play. In the first half Stefanie Dolson carried us. In the second half, everybody else got involved. It’s just a lot. When points are coming from different spots across the floor we are a tough team to play against.

(On the UConn offense)
The thing we tried to fix at practice yesterday was that we are a really good outside shooting team. The danger with that is sometimes you come down and pass the ball once and we’re jacking up jump shots. What Stefanie’s footwork, mobility and where she is right now means is that if we throw it to her something good is going to happen. We just thought that if we keep giving it to her, it’s going to put their big guys under pressure.

UConn Guard Kelly Faris
(On UConn’s offense today)
I think that’s kind of how this program usually runs. We have a lot of depth, especially compared to last year. We have points coming from every direction. The more we work on our passing the better it is going to be. The strongest part of our game is that we have a lot of good passers, a lot of strong shooters and a lot of good posts who can score inside and outside. That’s hopefully always going to be something that will make it tough to guard us.
Stefanie Dolson
(On being team’s leader today)
I just think it helps to open up other things. When the ball comes inside or if there is a double team we are always looking to pass it out and get an open shot. It helps the team run the offense. People think that being a center means you can’t be a leader. Being a center, I am seeing everything and can help everybody know where they have to be and know all the spots. I’m just always there to help the team when they need me and when our guards spread the floor so much. It just makes it easier for me to get in the paint.
Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
Opening statement:
You could see UConn was pretty much in midseason form. I thought in the first half, besides a few of our easy baskets that we gave up, it was just layup city. Our goal in this game was to cut down the layups, that didn’t happen. I thought when we fought and got ourselves back in it we could make a play there. Most of Connecticut’s shots tonight were wide open. I give them a lot of credit. Their ball movement is great but their ball skills are also great. Before you can have ball movement you have to players that can run that type of offense or run the triangle or run the spread and understand the game. Their kids understand the game a little bit better than mine. Their guards realize how to post up. They work on it and do a good job of finding it. Dolson just put on a clinic today over my post players. There was no excuse because I’ve been praising my three post players. Tonight, it was all Connecticut. I give their posts a lot of credit. They were doing a great job. It was not a good day for the head coach and it was not a good day for my three post players. Our freshmen are having to learn on the fly. That’s what this schedule is all about and that is what Italy was all about. This is what this year will be all about.

(On his team’s potential improvement)
Eventually we are going to have to become a little bit smarter as a basketball team. It doesn’t matter how hard we play, how fast we run or how high we jump, the game is still played between the ears. We’ve got to be able to execute and teach the game better.

(On offensive play)
When they did miss and we were starting off in transition we couldn’t score easy. I think we did have a few pass break points but most of them were uncontested layups. We have got to relax in transition. We are more afraid of getting the shot blocked than of us going up. With their lack of depth, they are going in with their hands up a lot and our kids are going in and panicking on the shot and changing the shot. Just go up and trust your shot. If you miss it, get the rebound but don’t triple pump over a girl that is not even trying to block your shot.
(On Courtney Walker)
She plays hard. She doesn’t take plays off. She gets beat on plays and she makes freshman mistakes but I can’t take her off the floor right now. I’ve got nobody else that will give me that energy off the bench or will play as hard and as well as her. She’s got a nice mid-range game. We’ve got to execute a little bit better so we do not wear her out. Right now I have to leave her in the game. Her time in the past three games is a record for me for a freshman. The other kids have the opportunity every day to come in and step up. I gave a lot of other wings opportunities out there and they didn’t deliver. When you get opportunities, it’s not just the shot. It’s the pass to the shot. It is the screen. It is a little bit of everything and we’re just not doing the fundamental things that a good basketball team ought to be doing right now. Sometimes you have to take a butt-kicking, watch a bit of film and get back to the practice floor to figure out who you are and what your identity is. If we play the blame game now, we will not get better as a basketball team. We have to have solutions.
Texas A&M Guard Courtney Walker
(On her offensive performance in today’s game)
Nothing is different for me. We did the same things we did the last two games. Obviously it was a different game for UConn. My shots were just falling today. The other two games I was taking the same shots, trying to execute on defense and running the plays. My shots were just falling right.
(On confidence)
I would say the difference between this game and the last two games was that I trusted my shots a bit more. That’s one of the things Coach Blair stressed before the game was for me to trust my shots and shooting it to make it, not shooting it because you are open. That’s what I did today and hopefully I will gain more confidence from it.
(On takeaways)
As we look back on the game, it is just learning that execution can work wonders for you. They are a really great executing team and we can learn to be that smart and that focused on executing and offense and stopping their execution on defense.

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