Geno Auriemma on UConn's defense in win: ‘We are not great at keeping other people from scoring’

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UConn womens paige bueckers azzi fudd hands on hips
UConn womens paige bueckers azzi fudd hands on hips

The Connecticut Huskies won their season-opener, 95-80, against the Arkansas Razorbacks and while there was a lot to celebrate for the number two ranked team in the country, coach Geno Auriemma had plenty of critiques for his team especially on defense.

“This was [Arkansas’] third game and they had a chance to get some of the kinks out that you would normally get,” Auriemma told the media after the win. “I went into the game thinking that we could score and I went in thinking that it was going to be hard to keep them from scoring. I think whatever I was thinking came true.”

Despite a career-high 34 points from reigning AP Player of the Year, Paige Bueckers, the Huskies had a hard time putting the Razorbacks away.

The first quarter was a success because forward Aaliyah Edwards and guard Christyn Williams got out in transition often. Bueckers didn’t have a single point in that first quarter, but once the offense began to stall, coach Auriemma made a concerted effort to get his star player more involved. What resulted was the aforementioned 34-point outburst, including Bueckers' 10-of-11 shooting in the second half.

However, Arkansas’ vaunted offense would keep them in the game. This is the same team that has 50 and 40-point wins in their first two games, after all.

“I know we are not great at keeping other people from scoring, as you can see, especially a team like that where they are pretty good,” Auriemma said. “Their style of play is really hard to play against. For the first game out, I thought more good things than not. But the bad things were really bad. Let’s put it that way.”

Even Bueckers wasn’t too thrilled with the result of the win, saying after the game “the whole team is not satisfied with this win….it was a tough defensive test for us and we have a lot to learn from it.”

UConn’s next game is against a 2-1 Minnesota team on Nov. 20.