Slowing It Down

KINGSTON, R.I. - Geno Auriemma knows UConn can keep pace with Penn State's high-powered offensive, he'd just prefer if the Huskies didn't have to.

didn't have to.

The top-seeded Huskies will face the fourth-seeded Nittany Lions on Sunday in the Kingston regional semifinals. Gonzaga and Kentucky will meet in the second game for a spot in the regional final of the NCAA women's tournament.

Penn State has run its way through the first two rounds, averaging a whopping 87½ points in its two victories. Still the Nittany Lions haven't faced a defense such as Connecticut, which is on pace to top its own NCAA record for scoring defense.

"I think we're going to be OK scoring points, but I think guarding them is going to be the difference in the game," Auriemma said. "We're going to have to do a great job of limiting their possessions."

The Huskies (31-4) are allowing just 45 points a game this season. They've picked that up in the first two rounds of the tournament, stymieing Kansas State in the second round by giving up an NCAA tournament-low 26 points.

"I think they struggled in a lot of half-court games where the game is low scoring," Auriemma said. "Their strength is their ability to make people play at their pace so I don't think either team wants to walk the ball up the floor and play a 55-48 kind of game. I don't think that's going to happen. It's a test of wills. They want to play their way, we want to play our way. Our two ways are similar. There are a couple things we do that they don't do and hopefully we'll take advantage of those things."


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