home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 4, 2012

Geno Auriemma

Stefanie Dolson

Bria Hartley

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis


Connecticut – 49
Rutgers – 34

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, an opening statement, please.
COACH AURIEMMA:  We talked all long about how difficult the Rutgers games are and how they all have the same pattern, though it doesn't matter when you play them, where you play them, who you have on your team, who they have on their team.  All the games take on a similar characteristic, you know, and it's difficult to get shots, difficult to get things flowing in a kind of a sustainable way.  You compound that by the number of open shots that we missed today, which I don't even know the number.  I don't want to look.  I don't even care.  It was a lot.
You add all those things together, and our defense had to win it for us.  I thought the first half our defense was great.  The second half it was great.  For 40 minutes I thought we guarded them exactly the way we wanted to guard them.  I tip my hat off to these guys because it takes a lot.  It takes a lot to concentrate that hard and play that hard on defense.  We thought our rebounding was great.
So all in all, I think it's a pretty gutty performance by our guys.

Q.  Kaleena, could you talk about the lift you gave the team coming in and hitting those five three‑pointers in the first half and kind of what you sensed the team needed there?
KALEENA MOSQUEDA‑LEWIS:  I just tried to help the team because we were in a little bit of a slump.  But every other player on the team was setting screens for me.  So when I got open, I just tried to shoot and knock it in.

Q.  Stefanie, can you talk about the defense?  Coach said it was the best 40 minutes you guys have played, and how it carried you guys when the offense wasn't there?
STEFANIE DOLSON:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think we played an amazing game of defense.  We communicated a lot on defense.  We helped each other with screens.  We guarded the screens correctly.  I think overall we just did a really great job of helping each other and communicating with each other, and just making sure the lane was clogged and that the people that we wanted to get shots got shots, and just end the possession with rebounds.  I think we did a great job of doing that and playing defense for the entire 30 seconds each possession and finishing it with a rebound.

Q.  Bria, what was Rutgers doing defensively that caused to you struggle tonight?  You went 3 of 13 shooting?
BRIA HARTLEY:  I think sometimes Rutgers comes out and they play hard defense.  Sometimes you miss open shots and if you're struggling, you have to keep shooting them.  If you're open you try to do other things.

Q.  Coach, Khadijah does a lot of dribble penetrations getting into the lane and assists, but she had almost no luck inside the paint tonight and had no assists.  How did you handle that defensively?
COACH AURIEMMA:  I think, like Stefanie said, I thought we communicated pretty well.  We helped each other out.  Players like Khadijah are not easy to defend one‑on‑one because she can get in the lane.  So it's not like you're going to keep her out of the lane the whole game.  It's what happens after she gets in the lane that maybe you can do something about.
I thought we were pretty disciplined, and we stayed where we were supposed to be and made it difficult for her to find who she was looking for.  That's not an easy task, but I thought we did a great job of that.

Q.  Coach, say hypothetically you lost all five of your starters. How good do you think the team would still be with the best five players coming off the bench?
COACH AURIEMMA:  Lousy.  Okay, that's the answer to that question.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the challenges facing St. John's again, and particularly Shenneika Smith?
COACH AURIEMMA:  St. John's had a chance to lose the game today, and they showed a little bit of the kind of confidence that they have that they're playing with right now.  They just have this look about them that‑‑ and it's kind of bugging me, because they think they're really good.  I liked it better when they weren't sure whether they could win or not.  But I get the sense watching them that regardless of whatever situation they're in or whatever the score is or the time, they're going to find an answer, and somebody's going to step up for them. 
       Shenneika's been fabulous the whole year.  She's become somebody that they can count on for big plays at big moments.  It's remarkable what they've done over there.  But I'm glad we're playing them again too.  I think our guys want another shot at them.  Regardless, it's going to be a great game.

Q.  Coach, I think it's been seven years since you guys won a game scoring under 50.

Q.  Just you had a feeling early on that your defense would have to step up because it's Rutgers, and things weren't flowing, especially in the first half?
COACH AURIEMMA:  Yeah, right now we're just not very good offensively.  There doesn't seem to be any rhythm.  There's no flow to our offense.  People are kind of wondering where the next pass is going and the next shot's coming from.  Normally, we can get a little bit of a flow with our offense.  We can get that pass that leads to that pass, that leads to that pass, that leads to that pass so we can get enough people movement and ball movement to generate some shots.  The few times we did that tonight.  We did, but it's just not happening enough right now.
It's just a real struggle right now.  We're kind of caught.  There is a lot of indecision on our team right now, and that's probably what accounted for such a low‑scoring game.

Q.  Coach, during the St. John's press conference, the subject of Shenneika's admiration for you came up.
COACH AURIEMMA:  Really?  She wants to switch sides tomorrow?

Q.  Unfortunately, no.  But Kim was saying that you've helped her a little bit, giving her words of support and building her confidence a little bit.  Could you just comment on your relationship with her?
COACH AURIEMMA:  I don't know that I've done anything.  I think Kim and her staff and Shenneika have done all the work.  I just remember Kim introducing me to her at an event when she was a freshman, maybe.  Typical New York kid, you know.  Thinks they're a lot better than they are coming out of high school.  Think they know everything about everything, and was really, really good.  I just tried to tell her that you've got a lot to learn, and if you pay attention and you listen to your coaches and go to school and work hard, you've got a chance to be a great player in this league.  Don't waste it.  Don't ruin it.  Don't be like one of those kids that comes out and next thing you know two years from now we don't know where you are.
So I just said the same thing I would tell any young player that I thought had a lot of potential in our league.  I said the same thing.  But I probably said more to her than I would say to any other player because she started the conversation off by saying that she's been in love with me her whole life, and that she wanted her picture taken with me and my autograph, and that's when I kind of fell in love with her.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297