Faris Had A Performance “For The Ages” Tonight Vs. Duke

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Geno Auriemma has had the honor of coaching 14 first-team All-Americans in 27-plus seasons at UConn. Eight players have won Olympic gold medals.

For one night, tonight, none of them compared to senior Kelly Faris. She put on a display that wowed the crowd of 9,671 at Gampel Pavilion and wowed Auriemma.

He has always spoke highly of her since her arrival. But after seeing Faris produce 18 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 31 minutes in a 79-49 rout of No. 4 Duke, Auriemma’s praise reached a new height.

“That’s one of those occasions where if you were watching it in the stands, you were fortunate to be part of that,’’ Auriemma said. “If you were on the bench. If you were part of what Kelly Faris did tonight, you just saw a performance that people are going to be talking about for a long time. There’s been some great players play in this building. There’s been some legends play in this building wearing that Connecticut uniform, but I don’t know that anybody ever represented that uniform and herself and her family the way that kid did tonight. And I know there’s a lot of players out there that are very good. I know there’s a lot of All-Americans. I know there’s a lot great players. But, man oh man, that was one for the ages right there.’’

It was in the second half, when UConn outscored Duke 47-19, that Faris put on a show. She generated 11 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in 16 minutes. The Blue Devils did not have an answer for the Huskies’ 5-foot-11 machine.

“What happened in the second half was indescribable,’’ Auriemma said. “On the stat sheet you can’t see the total exhaustion that she plays herself into. You can’t see how much of herself she leaves on the floor. You look at that stat sheet and go, yeah … She’s 5-11 and she managed all that. If you look at the stat sheet, that’s a pretty good game. But if you saw the game and you saw how she did it and the way it all transpired, then you know there’s a lot more to Kelly than the numbers in a box score.’’

For Faris, tonight was about getting back on track. She had not played well in the last two games, shooting a combined 33.0 percent from the field (7-of-21) and committing nine turnovers.

“I’ve been really frustrated with how I played, especially offensively and the turnovers,’’ Faris said. “It’s ridiculous. And I think I had three tonight, which I shouldn’t be getting that many. But I was definitely motivated to try to just get to how I know I can play. Slow down. Stop trying to fix everything, trying to do too much. And I think the second half we all did that. We all just kind of let it pan out and everybody did what they needed to do, and that’s when we’re best.’’

As much praise as Auriemma had for Faris, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis delivered her share too.

“That’s her in every practice,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “She’s in every single play. She makes sure she’s on the ball, she’s tipping it or she’s the reason we got the steal. Kelly’s involved in everything that we do on the court. To be able to see her get the praise and do so well in a big game for us and show that she can be our leader and she is our leader, I’m so happy for her.

“It kind of lets everybody know that Kelly is willing to give us everything that she has. It doesn’t matter what she has to sacrifice, she’s going to do it for us. So it’s time for everybody to pay it back for her. It’s time for everybody to sacrifice as much as she does. If she’s willing to do that for us, we have to be willing to do the same.

“I personally think Kelly should be an All-American, considered the best defender in the country. When you work that hard, I don’t understand how you don’t get put in those categories. Now that she’s actually becoming an offensive player, I think she’s putting herself in that much greater a position and she’s helping our team that much more.’’

Rich

Categories: General

11 Responses

  1. No Ax to Grind says:

    @Selective Memory…Your points are still meaningless and have nothing to do with the story…and honestly…you seem like you may be Physcotic with you rants…I’m just sayin’…

  2. Jamison says:

    Still irrelevant.

  3. Keith says:

    Hey Selective Memory- Your entire premis and points are stupid. No one is saying Kelly is Diana Sue Tina Rebecca— and not of them were competing with Brittney Griner. In case you have not noticed – there is more parity each year and much more since back when D played. One great player like D would not be able to carry her team to the Nat Championship any more. Maya couldn’t. Cheney in Stamford is a phenom- and they are hardly an elite 8 team. and Notre Dame was a deaper more experienced and really a better team than we were the prior two years. I think this year we are the better team and will prove it when it counts. And if you were at the game and a student of the game, you would have seen what the rest of us witnessed- an unreal performance of focus, heart, hustle, attitude and team- when it comes to the intangibles of what makes a great team and team leader- it is hard to ask for more than Kelly Farris. And that final 20 minutes of play by her and the entire team was worth the entire cost of my season ticket pkg for both venues and then some. they all always give their all every play- she just took it to another almost unconscious level- and willed the rest of the team with her!

  4. SELECTIVE MEMORY says:

    LEARN TO COUNT. 6 IS A NUMBER.

  5. Jamison says:

    No need to shout. You named 3 games, not 8. Learn to count. Anyway it’s irrelevant. Complimenting Kelly does not lessen anything anyone else has done unless you think there’s some kind of “game of the ages” award that Kelly has taken away from someone else. Why are your knickers in a twist over this?

  6. SELECTIVE MEMORY says:

    LEARN TO READ AND COMPREHEND. I LISTED 8 SPECIFIC SINGLE GAMES.

  7. Don Carson says:

    One could see the frustration that Kelly showed on her face in the previous two games. This game was different. She had that determined look in the second half and her intensity on every play demonstrated to all witnessing her tenacity that the ending would be different. As KML said afterwards, she gave her all for the team, now its time for us to do the same for her. I hope this is a challenge to all the rest of the players to play with the same focus. They owe it to Kelly; the coaches; and the rest of us who love their game and know that they can improve even more as they move forward toward their goal of a national championship.

  8. Jamison says:

    @Selective Reading – Where did Geno ever say she was POY? You recite information about previous players careers and great seasons, Geno was talking about one single game. Complimenting Faris on a fantastic game does not diminish anything done by anyone in the past nor does it mean that Faris is considered one of the greatest of all time. It’s well known that Geno loves the way that Faris plays the game and he wishes all his players would be as into it as Kelly is. That does not mean that he thinks Kelly is a better basketball player than Diana or Maya or anyone else.

  9. No Ax to Grind says:

    Wow…Can someone say “PSYCHO”….lol…all Geno said was that she had a great game…which she did. Back on your meds there Selective Memory…you might be overreacting just a tiny bit…lol…

  10. Edward Sweet says:

    I SAW THAT IN HER THE FIRST TIME SHE TOOK THE FLOOR 3 YEARS AGO.HER EXTREME DEVOTION AND PLAY ARE ONLY EXCEEDED BY HER OWN SINCERE MODESTY.

  11. Selective Memory says:

    Let me refresh Geno’s aging mind about performances for the ages.

    In her entire junior season, Diana carried the freshmen and sophomore team on her back, to an NCAA title. Not only that, but Diana represented extremely well with her great 6 game NCCA tournament. Diana represented well winning 2 POY.

    Tina scored 25 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the National Championship game. Won by UConn, of course. Tina represented well the entire season, earning a POY award.

    Maya scored 36 against Notre Dame in the Final Four semi final, keeping UConn in the game. While her 4 teammates stood around and watched. Maya represented well her entire career, winning 3 POY awards and holding numerous UConn records.

    Kelly was great last night. No doubt. Pure heart and hustle. But Kelly will never be a POY candidate. Let me see Kelly carry this loaded talented team to a National Championship.

    Kelly has better players than Diana did her junior season. Kelly has better players than Maya did her senior season. Kelly’s ultimate legacy will be how she performs and leads UConn against Notre Dame, Baylor, or anyone else in the Elite Eight, Final Four Semi Final, and National Championship.

    Along the same lines, some want to crown KML or Stewart as the greatest UConn player ever. Long before their careers are over. Diana won 3 NC, 2 when she was the POY. Maya won 2 NC, 2 when she was the POY. There’s more to hype and career statistics. National Championships is where it is at.