Nearly three feet of snow that was dumped on the region to start the weekend couldn't derail the third-ranked Huskies on Sunday. Despite the conditions forcing the team to cancel practices on Friday and Saturday, UConn steamrolled visiting DePaul Sunday, 91-44. Added bonus: the time off allowed some Huskies players to pursue other endeavors -- full-on snowball fights.
“It was epic. It was awesome,” UConn junior center Stefanie Dolson said, according to SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “We went against some random people. We went out in the blizzard so we couldn’t see anyone. We didn’t see who these people were. But we had an intense snowball fight with them and we won. They thought they won but we did.”
Dolson took that same mentality to the court; she led all scorers with 23 points, adding 5 rebounds and 6 assists in 24 minutes of work. Bria Hartley, who finished with 18 points, was the only other Husky to finish in double-digits, although 10 different players scored for UConn in a game that was decided by halftime.
Despite the game getting out of hand early, coach Geno Auriemma spoke glowingly of his team's effort throughout.
“Our guys know that it doesn’t matter what the score is,” he said. “We just want them to play hard and do the little things that make you a good player. It doesn’t matter what the score is because it’s not about the score. What are you going to decide to do, dive on a loose ball when it’s a tie score with eight seconds left? If that’s not part of who you are, you won’t dive on the ball with eight seconds left either. That might be the difference in the game. So you either dive on it because that’s what you do for a living or you don’t. You can’t decide when that ball hits the floor, ‘We’re up a bunch, I’m not going to do that.’"
Auriemma also thanked those fans who braved the post-blizzard conditions to take in the game. The announced attendance was 8,861.
“We’ve always had a core fan base that’s been exceptionally loyal to us for the longest time, for as long as I can remember,” Auriemma said. “So these 8,800 people that came out, I bet you, they’re probably our absolute strongest fans and probably have been with us the longest. Maybe we should lock them up for a couple days before every weekend game and then let them out on the weekends.
“But it’s different here in Connecticut," he continued. "We’re spoiled. We’re lucky to have the kind of fan base that we have. Sometimes we take it for granted, but I said that there wouldn’t be anybody here because I was just worried that the roads weren’t any good and people would just say, ‘Forget it.’ It took a lot of effort for some people to get here. As for the students, it took no effort for them. At least they made the walk down here.”