UConn coach Geno Auriemma had been waiting for star freshman Breanna Stewart to get back to being herself. She had been averaging 7.7 points (8-of-29 FG) and 5.7 rebounds in the previous three games.
Stewart has taken a beating from opponents on the court this season. And the physical play has been something that she has struggled getting acclimated to. But during Wednesday’s 75-48 win at Georgetown, she rediscovered her dominating self by producing 12 points (5-of-9 FG) and 13 rebounds in 20 minutes.
Stewart tied her season-high in rebounds in recording her third double-double. A true gauge of just how active she was the fact that she had five offensive rebounds. She had four combined in 83 minutes over the previous four games.
“I think it definitely just helps gain more confidence and it’s just going to help lead into the next game,’’ Stewart said.
Said UConn senior Kelly Faris: “She ran the floor better on some of the key possessions and got some key rebounds at different times. As time goes on I think we’ll see more and more of that. As she gets more and more confident and relaxed we’ll see more of that.’’
It was in the second half, in particular, where Stewart shined. She had 10 points (5-of-7 FG) and eight rebounds in just eight minutes.
Stewart scored 10 straight points during a span of 2:28 as the Huskies opened a 31-point lead.
“She’s been getting banged around physically and mentally for the last month or so ever since we got back from the Virgin Islands,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “She’s been beat up pretty good physically and mentally. And I thought it was good in the second half that she actually just got to do some things around the basket that she normally would do. And hopefully that’ll kind of springboard her to … She rebounded the ball better, which she hadn’t done for a while to this extent. And she just showed a much more aggressive nature to her than she had been.’’