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Teams Struggling to Shutdown Stewart

The 2014 national player of the year isn't sneaking up on anybody.

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    Teams Struggling to Shutdown Stewart
    AP
    Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart, left, and South Carolina’s Jatarie White, right, look for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Storrs, Conn.

    Breanna Stewart is arguably the most talented player to come through Storrs. That's a bold statement give UConn's history -- including nine national championships -- right up until the moment you watch Stewart play. Then it becomes much easier to make that argument.

    Either way, the 2014 national player of the year isn't sneaking up on anybody. It's why every opponent game plans to stop her, and it's why she often finds herself on the receiving end of college basketball's version of Jordan Rules. The attention hasn't been lost on Stewart.

    “It’s different each game,” Stewart said, via SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “The refs, you have to see how they’ll call the game. Sometimes it’s physical and sometimes they call it tight. A lot of teams want to get our posts in foul trouble because they know we don’t have six post players. That’s why we have to be careful. Maybe there will be bad calls against us, some flops and that kind of thing. We’re expecting it.

    “I notice it. It’s something I expect. When I go through the lane I expect to get hit. And if I were to do it to someone else, they’d call a foul. It’s a part of the game, there’s nothing you can really say about it. It happens.”

    The latest episode came Monday night, in UConn's 88-65 win over South Florida. Stewart still scored 29 points, pulled 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots.

    Put another way: Stewart has a knack for getting hot as tournament time approaches. That's trouble for whomever the Huskies face.

    “Each game I want to play better, but March is when you want to play your best,” she said. “That’s when people play at their best.”