"I feel like I'm a player that's being able to be relied on by my teammates," Stewart said. "Right now, that's what I want to be able to do. Throughout the season, there were times where I wasn't able to completely say that my teammates were able to rely on me and I think now I would say that they are."
Stewart's play may be key with UConn junior center Stefanie Dolson still bothered by a stress fracture in her right ankle and an injured left foot, as well. Dolson practiced all week.
Stewart isn't the only freshman that has become more reliable.
Speedy point guard Moriah Jefferson has been a defensive stopper and a new offensive option for the Huskies in the NCAA tournament. The 5-foot-7 guard had 10 points in 26 minutes against Maryland and 10 in 27 minutes against Kentucky.
"They are playing better now," McGraw said of the UConn freshmen. "Playing like everyone expected them to do at the beginning of the year."
Cal looks to halt Louisville upset streak
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisville coach Jeff Walz says a pair of impressive upsets in the women's NCAA tournament doesn't change his team's underdog status as it prepares to play California in tonight's national semifinal.
Walz says no one expects the Cardinals to beat California, which has gone 32-3, beat Pac-12 power Stanford earlier this year and was seeded second in the Spokane Region.
"No one expects us to win now," Walz insisted. "I'm sorry, we're seeded fifth. So my thing is, I know we won two games, but we're seeded fifth, and if they expected us to win, we'd be seeded second or third."
The Cardinals knocked off defending national champion Baylor and storied program Tennessee to make it to the Final Four, but no team seeded worse than fourth has won a national semifinal.
Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb says her team is focused on stopping what Louisville has done offensively to become the "hot team" in the tournament. Gottlieb adds that her own players think they have something good going as well.
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