The UConn women picked right up after their blowout first round win over Idaho by dispatching of Vanderbilt 77-44 in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
The Huskies never trailed, and pushed their 37-24 halftime lead thanks to a 17-0 run to open the second half. UConn held the Commodores without point for the first 7:16 of the half. Vanderbilt finally ended the drought on a three-pointer by Jasmine Jenkins with 12:44 left in the game.
With the win, UConn reaches the Sweet 16 for the 20th straight season, shooting 54.2-percent in the process, holding the ‘Dores to 37.8-percent shooting.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, pacing four players who finished in double-figures for UConn. Moriah Jefferson scored 11 off the bench for the Huskies.
Tiffany Clarke led Vanderbilt with 16 points.
Another night at the office for Auriemma and UConn. He’s proven to be one of the best coaches in any sport in college and, while it’s not the Vanderbilt we’re used to seeing, the 17-0 run to begin the second half was impressive.
The Lady Huskies play Maryland in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.
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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.