Huskies Roll, Faris Leads

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It seems that unless UConn is facing Stanford, Baylor or Notre Dame, we can pretty much guarantee that they will score somewhere in the 80s and the opponents will be lucky to reach 50. It happened again over the weekend when the Huskies doubled up DePaul, 88-44. Earlier in the week, UConn beat UNC, 86-35 and Cincinnati, 80-37.

So while neither the win nor the margin was surprising, there are some takeaways from a game that was decided in the first few minutes (UConn scored the first 11 points). The evolution of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis continues. She score 25 points on 8 of 13 shooting. The other two freshmen -- Brianna Banks and Kiah Stokes -- each played 19 minutes and combined for 11 points and seven rebounds.

Kelly Faris added 10 points which doesn't seem particularly noteworthy … except that, unwittingly or otherwise, she's taken a leadership role, something coach Geno Auriemma lamented this team lacked earlier in the season.

"I don't think she's doing anything different right now," Auriemma said via the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla. "I think [based on] maturity and this being her third year here, things just naturally happen. But Kelly is still the same. She hasn't done anything different, but she will voice her opinion much more than she has.

"She's never going to be the kind [of player] who is the most demonstrative and the most talkative. When we're on defense, she is like that. She is always demonstrative and talkative. But I don't know, if the players say she is, she is. But I haven't seen anything different in her."

Faris isn't one to do a lot of arm-waving or screaming but there's something to be said for leading by example.

"Kelly's done such a much better job of talking, getting the team more energized during practices or warmups before a game," sophomore center Stefanie Dolson said. "You can definitely see a difference in Kelly from last year to this year. She's more vocal in leading the team; telling people what they need to do if they aren't doing it."

Altavilla notes that Faris seems happy to embrace that role.

"If that's what its going to take, and my teammates are starting to listen, then its fine with me," Faris said. "Obviously, it's a little bit out of my comfort zone. But I am continuing to work on it [verbalizing her feelings] and say what needs to be said along with making sure to listen to the concerns of others."

These are the types of problems Jim Calhoun would love to have with his team. But even though it's late January, it's still early in terms of defining a team's identify. It's just that the women appear to have found theirs sooner than the men.

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