No. 21/19 women's basketball struggle on offense, fall to No. 3 UConn
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
On Saturday night, a sold-out McGrath-Phillips Arena saw a couple streaks come to a screeching halt as the No. 21/19 DePaul Blue Demons lost to the No. 3 UConn Huskies 88-44.
The loss snapped a 28-game winning streak for DePaul at their home arena as well as a 10-game winning streak over Big East Conference opponents at home.
It was a night where not too much went right.
"In recruiting there are soft commitments, in politics there are soft donations, tonight was a soft whoopin'," DePaul Head Coach Doug Bruno said. "It was one of those games. I wish our players would have been a little bit more competitive."
UConn asserted their dominance from the opening tip, scoring the game's first 11 points. The Huskies never took their foot off the pedal. Four Huskies scored in double-figures, led by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' 25 points and UConn shot nearly 55 percent (29-of-53) from the field.
DePaul on the other hand just couldn't get much going. Brittany Hrynko was the lone bright spot as she led the team with 18 points, but leading scorer Anna Martin was held scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting. This is only the second time in her career that she has been held scoreless, both times coming at the hand of UConn.
"That's not the same DePaul team that started the season," UConn head coach Geno Auriemma acknowledged. "Everywhere she [Martin] went, we had a hand on her. We tried to make her be a playmaker instead of a shooter."
Bruno was not pleased, but also admitted that "our entire offense had a tough night."
DePaul was dominated in nearly every statistical category, including rebounding (46-22 in favor of the Huskies) and points off turnovers (33-9) helping determine the outcome of the game.
"UConn never gets credit for their defense because they're such a well-oiled machine offensively," Bruno said. "It's a tough team to get looks on."
Hrynko shot 5-10 from the field and 4-5 from behind the arc to get her points, but also had nine turnovers, which Bruno said cannot happen.
Even with the stinging loss fresh in the heads of the entire team and coaching staff, there was one positive that occurred before the game.
Bruno was named as one of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team assistant coaches. He also coached on the 2010 USA World Championship team that captured the gold medal and subsequently qualified the team for the Olympics coming later this year.
Who was there at center court to help honor him? The coach he was set to face a few minutes later.
"I'm totally going to be excited for London once our season ends," Bruno admitted. "Coaches are trained to stay in the moment."
Bruno also said that there's only one thing worse than beating your friend, and that's losing to your friend. The honor did not make the loss feel any better, but Auriemma knows that he made the right decision.
"The opportunity to immediately say that this is the guy I want on my staff [was there]." Auriemma said about selecting Bruno as assistant coach. "For me, it was the first thing I did when I got the job."
The Blue Demons don't have much time to lick their wounds as they have to travel to Rutgers for a Tuesday night game. After that is Seton Hall before coming back home to play Louisville and going back on the road to face rival Notre Dame. Bruno called this the "tough stretch."