Kiah Stokes did it again Tuesday against No. 15 Louisville.
She proved that she can be a game-changer in the lowpost for the Huskies. She can rebound. She can block shots. At 6-foot-3 with a rock-solid physique, she again proved that she has the potential to be the player that UConn coach Geno Auriemma needs her to be.
Stokes finished with two points, six rebounds, one assist and three blocks in 12 minutes. It was the third time in 11 games this season that she has had at least six rebounds. She finished with three blocks for the fourth time.
“Kiah Stokes was great,’’ Auriemma said. “I think with Kiah you almost ask yourself like, `Are you capable of doing that every night if we put you in? And I think what I’m going to do is just throw her out there and see what she does and when she plays like she played (Tuesday) leave her in there. And as long as she keeps doing what she did (Tuesday) just keep adding to it.’’
Following up her latest feel-good performance with another one Saturday against Syracuse at the XL Center will be key for both Stokes and the Huskies. However, she has posted back-to-back strong performances just once this season, generating season-highs of seven rebounds and three blocks at Texas A&M Nov. 18 and against Wake Forest Nov. 22. Stay tuned.
“Kiah’s minutes at Connecticut are completely dependent on her, and the way she played (Tuesday) it changes our team a little bit,’’ Auriemma said. “If we could ever play those two (Stokes and Stefanie Dolson) and Breanna Stewart together that’s not a bad way to go against some teams during certain situations. But I want to see Kiah do that more than once before I’m ready to say that this is what we’re going to get from her every night.’’