UConn made Sunday's 79-38 win over South Florida look easy at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., but the No. 5 Huskies' rout of the Bulls to reach the AAC tournament title game required much more than what appeared on the surface.
Speaking with SNY's Maria Marino after the 41-point semifinal victory against fourth-seeded USF (19-13), head coach Geno Auriemma elaborated on the work that went into top-seeded UConn (28-3) arriving at the lopsided result.
"We've really done a good job of making people have to figure out how to score other than their favorite way of scoring," Auriemma said, alluding to the Bulls, who shot 12 of 58 (20.7 percent) from the field and 5 for 18 (27.8 percent) on three-pointers. "And with USF, they're very disciplined. They run their stuff and they're going to run their stuff. And if you let them run their stuff, they're going to get a good shot by the person they want shooting it. So each and every year, the challenge playing them is, 'Can you keep them from doing that?' And today, we did that ... and that's why the score was the way it was."
While the Huskies limited USF without a single player reaching double digits -- freshman guard Elena Tsineke paced the Bulls with nine points -- Auriemma commended junior forward Megan Walker fighting through a below-average shooting day on the way to a game-high 21.
"Yeah, she didn't shoot the ball great today, but she managed to score other ways, other than making a lot of threes," Auriemma said of Walker, who went 8 of 19 from the field and 3 for 7 on three-pointers. "So she was able to get out in the lane a little more, score in transition. We've kind of been conditioned to expect that. Meg's going to get her 20, 21, 22 points every night and we just have to fill in. Now, everybody else has to do their part. And if everybody contributes, then we got a chance to beat anybody. That's the way it is."
UConn faces third-seeded Cincinnati (22-9, 11-5) Monday at 7 p.m. The Huskies swept the Bearcats on the 2019-20 season series, most recently recording a 105-58 rout on the road Feb. 26.