STORRS — And now, something completely different for the No. 1 UConn women.
"We were just saying that playing a team like this at this point is not exactly ideal for us," coach Geno Auriemma said. "But it is what it is. Stanford played one way. Maryland played one way. Penn State played another way."
"But Oregon plays completely different."
In fact, they have shown two major personality traits in their first three games — the willingness to shoot and the ability to score.
They have attempted 266 shots and 109 three-pointers. They have averaged 109.7 points.
"I guess we'll just guard [the perimeter] as hard as we can and keep our hands up [on defense]," said UConn freshman Saniya Chong. "The coaches are always on us about that; get around the screens, get out to the ball and put your hands up."
In Sunday's loss to Sacramento State in Eugene, Ore., the teams combined for 182 field goal attempts and 86 three-point tries, an NCAA Division I women's record.
It is difficult to believe that Oregon will be able to operate the way it likes against UConn.
The Ducks have five players averaging double figures in points, led by freshman Chrishae Rowe (25.7), the Pac-10's rookie of the week. But UConn is holding teams to 33 percent shooting from the field and 27.5 percent on three-pointers.
UConn held Penn State's Maggie Lucas to just one field goal in the first half before she finally warmed up.
"UConn is a very smart team, the best team in the nation," Lucas said.
Making matters worse for the Ducks is an injury to their best player, sophomore center Jillian Alleyne, one of the nation's top rebounders. She left Sunday's game with six minutes to play in the first half with a high ankle sprain. She did not return and is listed as doubtful. Her loss would be crippling, considering that Oregon will also play without 6-4 post Megan Carpenter.
"Jillian's a very big piece to our puzzle; she's a double-double, easy, every night," Oregon's Ariel Thomas said Sunday. "But, if you worry about losing Jillian, you're not going to play well. … We just had to keep moving on and try to play for her."
Westhead, who has coached Magic Johnson (Lakers), Hank Gathers (Loyola Marymount) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), knows how difficult Wednesday's game will be even if the Ducks were at full-strength.
"The timing is never good to play Connecticut," Westhead said Sunday. "Maybe [the loss to Sacramento State] is what we needed to have an edge. I'll tell you what, we better not play scared."
The Ducks scored 131 points in their opener against Bakersfield, shooting 43 of 101 from the field, 20 of 42 from three. And they scored 67 points in the first half.
Those stats don't faze Auriemma, who said that his team's execution is more important than anything an opponent does.
"But we don't take anything for granted and we don't disrespect any team," Auriemma said.
Mosqueda-Lewis Out 3-5 Weeks
The program received excellent news about junior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis' elbow. After an examination by Robert Joyce, it was determined that the compressed ulnar nerve is repairing itself so well that trainer Rosemary Ragle projects she could return in as soon as three weeks.
"The only important thing is that she is making progress," Auriemma said. "The timetable will take care of itself."
Mosqueda-Lewis' right arm is no longer in a sling; Tuesday it was dangling by her side. Had there not been a lot of progress, the possibility of surgery to relieve the pressure in the elbow might have been on the table.