After a 76-57 loss to the Huskies on Monday night, she was proud of her team’s effort.
“We play Connecticut with no illusions. This is a tough place to play and a tough team,” the Hall of Fame coach said. “We got better and better as the game went on and a game like this right now is helpful for us.”
VanDerveer got strong contributions from junior guard Amber Orrange and senior All-American Chiney Ogwumike.
Orrange scored a career-high 22 points while Ogwumike had 16 points and 13 rebounds. They got little other help as the rest of the team had just seven field goals.
“I think that this game can be a real positive for our team,” VanDeveer said. “Positive from successes that people had and get their attention. This is what the best team plays like. We need to really understand it and internalize it and come out and work on it.”
VanDerveer knows moving forward that the Cardinal (1-1) will need to get some other contributions offensively for her team to be successful.
“I think this kind of let our team know we’re 20 points away,” she said. “How do you make that up? We gave up too many O-boards for baskets. We sent them to the free-throw line for no reason. We need to do little things correctly and focus on that for the rest of the season.”
Bria Hartley had 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead UConn (2-0) while Kiah Stokes added 10 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. The Huskies got a scare early in the second half when preseason All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis went down trying for a rebound.
She landed awkwardly on her right arm and was down screaming in pain for a few minutes before being helped to the locker room.