Exhibitions over, UConn's basketball teams brace for regular sea - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Exhibitions over, UConn's basketball teams brace for regular season

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The UConn women's basketball team defeated Ashland on Sunday in its last exhibition game. (WFSB) The UConn women's basketball team defeated Ashland on Sunday in its last exhibition game. (WFSB)
The UConn men's basketball team trounced Queens College in its final exhibition game. (WFSB) The UConn men's basketball team trounced Queens College in its final exhibition game. (WFSB)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

The exhibition part of the University of Connecticut's basketball season ended on Sunday.

The men's team won two of its three games.

The women defeated their two opponents.

Channel 3 was at Gampel Pavilion for the double header.

The women played Ashland as they prepared to face Stanford in the season opener next Sunday.

"I think today we did a very good job on moving the ball on offense and the first half especially," said Kia Nurse, UConn senior. "The speed in which we moved, the cuts we made, there were good decisions."

From the start, UConn showed its dominance. It was something coach Geno Auriemma said is important as the team continues to build strength.

"We got better in a couple days from Wednesday night and that's important," Auriemma said. "We're starting to get a pretty good feel for each other and it takes a little bit of time even if you have a lot of guys coming back from the year before."

Freshman Megan Walker saw 20 minutes on the court on Sunday night. She put up 14 points.

"I felt more comfortable this game, I feel like that's just jitters like I said earlier, it's going to help us, this game," Walker said. "I feel like our offense flowed a little bit better than the first exhibition game and I think we're going to encourage that in practice and carry it over to Sunday."

Auriemma said to be ready for the team to showcase new stuff this season.

"We made some changes this season," he said. "I don't think we're getting too different from where we were last year but there's some things that we're doing that are way different that we didn't do last year and we didn't even do a bunch of them today because there was no need to."

Then it was the men's turn.

The team took on the Queens College Knights and ruled the court. It lead by 32 points at the half.

"I thought our pressure was real, real good," said coach Kevin Ollie. "One thing we've been doing, we've been turning teams over. All three exhibition games I think we have over 10 steals, or close to it. We want to keep that up. Our goal was to be plus 10 on rebounds and us being 29 was great." 

Between Josh Carlton and Christian Vital, the two players contributed 38 of the team's 100 points.

Ollie called that a good sign for the team.

"That's the one thing that is going to keep us together is sharing a basketball," he said. "I still don't like the turnovers that we have. It's just way too much in exhibition, but I do like our assist numbers. I think we have some great facilitators out there, kind of more we had than last year."

The players said they're feeling confident as they head into their first real game on Friday.

"I think this is exactly what we needed," Vital, a sophomore, said. "Our last exhibition game, although we won, we didn't really play the way we wanted to. But today, I think the energy was great from start to finish. Obviously we had some mishaps and mistakes but we were able to play through those. Everyone was able to contribute."

The men play on Friday at Gampel at 7 p.m. against Colgate.

The women play Stanford on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

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