UConn women, Williams visit Nevada
The best team in women’s college basketball, UConn, is in town for a nationally televised nonconference game against Nevada.
Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. today, and a crowd of more than 6,000 is expected to lend its support in the David versus Goliath match-up. The game is also being televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
The No. 1 ranked Huskies will be the highest ranked team to ever play against the Wolf Pack women’s basketball team, the last being Louisiana Tech which was ranked No. 4 back in the late 80s.
The game is the final leg of a three-game road trip for the Huskies, and it will be the first-ever college appearance in Northern Nevada by UConn forward Gabby Williams, who starred at Reed High School for four seasons. Williams is averaging 11 points and nine rebounds a contest.
The contest was scheduled before current Nevada coach Amanda Levens was hired. She was asked what she thought when she found out.
“I thought it was a typo,” she said, smiling. “We are going to prepare like it was any other opponent. We are focused on our game. We have to take care of the ball. They find the open players. They all know their roles. They do a great job of playing their roles.”
This is a game everybody expects UConn to win by a huge margin, and T Moe is embracing that thought.
“We have nothing to lose,” Moe said. “We are supposed to lose. I’m excited to go out there.”
Nevada has a 3-2 record after winning its own Nugget Classic with wins over Sacramento State and SMU. The Pack has won three of its last four after opening the season with a loss at Utah.
“After the Utah game, I thought it was going to be like last year,” Moe said. “Everything has become completely different. We’re feeling good. It’s the first time (we’ve won the tournament) in a while. We might be overthinking it. It is just a game.”
“They (the players) are buying into what we want to do,” Levens said. “Our players go as hard as they can for as long as the can, and then they get a break. When they go out (of the game), they know that they are going back in.”
Moe and Williams have played with and against each other during their AAU careers.
“She promised not to laugh at my shot,” said Moe, who added she and Williams hoop when the UConn star is home from school. “Gabby is a freak of an athlete, and she always has been.”
Williams’ older sister, Kayla, played for Nevada several years ago, and her dad, Matt, played for the Wolf Pack. Levens knows all about her. While Kayla Williams was a post player, Gabby, who played point guard in high school, plays three different positions for the Huskies.
“She came to our camp I think in sixth grade,” Levens said. “I recruited her when I was at Arizona State, and we recruited her as a 3-4 combo. They do a good job of putting her in good positions (to excel). She is very good in 1 on 1 situations.”