UConn (30-8) vs. Florida (36-2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When: 607 p.m. EST

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Statistics

Florida

PlayerGPGSMPGPPGFG%RPGAPGSPGBPG
#20Michael Frazier II383330.412.646.03.51.11.10.2
#5Scottie Wilbekin333233.813.440.72.53.71.60.0
#24Casey Prather363427.913.860.34.91.61.00.6
#4Patric Young383626.010.854.16.20.80.71.1
#10Dorian Finney-Smith36225.68.937.56.72.10.40.4
#15Will Yeguete383823.35.044.25.21.21.00.2
#0Kasey Hill31822.15.541.01.93.21.20.2
#25DeVon Walker34712.32.530.91.30.60.40.4
#30Jacob Kurtz2608.41.663.01.50.30.20.0
#23Chris Walker1705.02.059.31.40.10.10.5
#1Eli Carter707.60.47.10.70.30.00.0
#42Billy Donovan1602.80.20.00.20.20.10.0
#31Alex Murphy506.61.016.71.00.40.00.0
#11Lexx Edwards1001.50.00.00.30.00.00.0
#12Dillon Graham108.00.00.00.00.00.00

UConn

PlayerGPGSMPGPPGFG%RPGAPGSPGBPG
#13Shabazz Napier383834.918.142.65.94.91.70.3
#11Ryan Boatright373632.312.037.93.43.41.50.2
#2DeAndre Daniels363628.713.046.95.90.40.71.4
#5Niels Giffey381424.48.354.33.80.80.70.5
#20Lasan Kromah361723.16.343.32.71.21.20.4
#35Amida Brimah381716.44.265.63.00.30.12.3
#0Phillip Nolan381714.03.554.82.40.20.20.4
#21Omar Calhoun321113.43.830.51.40.40.20.1
#10Tyler Olander3248.41.846.51.20.10.40.1
#3Terrence Samuel2808.62.452.50.90.80.40.0
#12Kentan Facey2305.31.548.11.80.20.10.3
#22Leon Tolksdorf1104.31.428.60.80.40.10.0
#20Lasan Kromah2017.06.055.61.51.01.00.0
#14Pat Lenehan802.60.516.70.40.10.00.0
#25Tor Watts701.90.325.00.30.00.30.0
#23Nnamdi Amilo105.02.00.02.00.00.00.0

What you should Know

Scouting Florida

Wilbekin

There's a reason Florida has won 30 games in a row, is 36-2, and a 6.5 point favorite today -- they earned it. The Gators haven't lost since UConn beat them on Dec. 2 and they remain the most complete team in the country. The Gators have four players average in double figures and are one of the top defensive teams in the country and are No. 3 in the nation in points against at 57 points per game and hold teams to 39.9 percent from the floor. The Gators are led by Scottie Wilbekin, a senior point guard and SEC Player of the Year who is the floor leader. Casey Prather leads the Gators in scoring at 13.8 per game, while Wilbekin checks in at 13.1 per game. He's a big shot taker and maker and is a terrific on ball defender. Michael Frazier II is a great shooter from the wing and an explosive scorer while Patric Young anchors the paint. Frazier is the one guy on the perimeter, shooting 46 percent from the floor, and the Huskies have to worry about offensive rebounding. They must keep the powerful young and Dorian Finney-Smith off the boards. Florida is deep, athletic and big and plays eight players over 10 minutes. They are physical and are the exact kind of team that has given the Huskies trouble this year.

Ollie's Take

Ollie
"(Florida) presents a big challenge. We played those guys. They pick‑and‑roll guys, they dive hard, Young is a great player, Yeguete brings his challenge, Finney‑Smith shooting the three‑ball, going inside. They present a big challenge for us, and we got to be ready to play. We got to play at a level five. We got to rebound. We got to limit their touches. We got to do our work early. Phil and DeAndre know that because they hear me screaming it each and every day."

Battle in the paint

UConn gave up 32 points in the paint to Florida in the first meeting, were out-rebounded 34-26 and gave up 49.9 percent shooting. The Huskies can't allow Young to roam the paint, scoring 17 points inside and forcing UConn to become a perimeter team. The Huskies did a stunning job against Michigan State in the Elite 8 holding the Spartans to only six points in the paint. A lot of that had to do with UConn's defense, with Ryan Boatright and swarming double teams taking Michigan State out of its comfort level. The Huskies have to play even in the paint. Watch for Amida Brimah and Phil Nolan's effect on the shooting of Florida. If Brimah and Nolan can protect the rim, and force Florida outside, they have a chance.

Get to the free throw line

UConn is hitting a stunning 88 percent from the free-throw line in the NCAA tournament. That is otherworldly. It's a boring part of the game, but the Huskies have 81 free-throws in four games, which means it is getting at least 20 points a game from the free-throw line.  No team in the nation can stop guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright off the dribble, the key is the second line of defense. Will Boatright and Napier create foul chances, or if not, open shots off the help? That will be the key. If the Huskies can get Florida to foul them, get to the foul line, they become awfully difficult to beat.

Early offense

Florida is great on defense. The Huskies aren't exactly a running team, but they are good in offensive transition. If the opportunity comes for quick offense, UConn has to take it. Transition 3s, and dives to the hole in transition are the way to get Florida to foul. That starts with rebounding, and the Huskies don't want to push the pace too much, but the Huskies can't slowdown on offense. Napier is the key, he has to know when to push the issue and if it's not there, not take a rushed shot. Florida's one of the best defensive teams in the country and any time you can get easy offense with its defense not set, you have to take that chance.

Napier's destiny

Napier

What's the Final Four without stars? The AAC Player of the Year vs. the SEC Player of the Year in a late game duel to the title game? If that happens, that's all UConn can ask.  Napier has been one of the best players in UConn history, is atop all the important all-time lists and already has a legendary feel about his career.  Can he deliver two more great performances and etch his name into college basketball history much like Kemba Walker? If he can pull off two more wins, he may go down as the most beloved player in UConn history. That's saying a lot, but two more wins and no one else will have a case to make. Napier is the straw that stirs the drink, is a great player on a Final Four mission, and that's something that's hard to quantify.

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Tags: Langston Galloway, Men's Basketball, UCONN, UConn
Comments

During this episode of Huskies at Home, SNY's Maria Marino checks in with UConn's Director of Athletics, David Benedict, to discuss the state of the program during uncertain times.

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Now the head coach at Southern Connecticut State, Scott Burrell enjoyed a nine-year NBA career as a player, winning a title with Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls.

But for Burrell, it all started at UConn, where he helped the 1990 Huskies capture their first ever Big East title. 

In a conference that was loaded with talented teams, UConn came out of nowhere to win it and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. And building UConn's winning foundation for years to come is what Burrell remembers most fondly about his time with the program. 

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It was his senior season, one during which he believed his team had the chance to make it to the NCAA Tournament. But for UConn basketball's Christian Vital, when life for all of us came to a halt, so did that dream of reaching the Big Dance.

The NCAA, like the rest of the sports world, was forced to cancel the rest of its season. So March Madness couldn't take place, and looking back at things now two months later, Vital explained how he felt when he found out his college career was ending abruptly.

"It was just crazy and the first couple weeks I was pissed off -- I won't even lie to you guys," he told the media on Tuesday. "The morning of March 12, I wake up and I'm thinking I have a game that day so I do my routine the night before, do my routine in the morning and I'm thinking we're going to play." 

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Jan 9, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline in the second half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Cincinnati 82-38. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 9, 2019; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline in the second half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Cincinnati 82-38. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most graduating college seniors have had their official commencement ceremonies postponed.

But that didn't stop UConn women's head basketball coach Geno Auriemma from delivering a powerful message to the graduating class of 2020. 

In a "virtual commencement" address, Auriemma encouraged the graduating students to make something out what he calls the 'defining moment' for this generation. 

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During this episode of Huskies at Home presented by Travelers, UConn hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh talks to SNY about how he's handling these uncertain times and having the season cut short.

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On this episode of Huskies at Home, UConn men's basketball head coach Dan Hurley talks to SNY about how recent events have impacted his team, and how he misses his players.

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With the 16th pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, the Minnesota Lynx selected former UConn guard Crystal Dangerfield, as she joined eighth overall pick Megan Walker as Huskies taken in this year's draft.

"I'm happy to be with Minnesota," Dangerfield told SNY's Maria Marino. "I think it's going to be a great fit."

During her final season with UConn, Dangerfield averaged 14.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, while also totaling 118 assists. 

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After three tremendous seasons in Storrs, Conn., former UConn Huskies forward Megan Walker was selected by the New York Liberty with the ninth overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft.

For Walker, the move from Connecticut to the Big Apple is a smooth transition into WNBA life.

"We were kind of banking on going to New York, but we didn't have any definites," Walker told SNY's Maria Marino. "It just so happened that it was close for me and I'm familiar with the city, so it was just a bunch of things going through my mind, but (New York) was definitely one of my top choices."

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Jan 26, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) drives the ball against Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Martins Igbanu (1) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) drives the ball against Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Martins Igbanu (1) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

He's been alluding to it for weeks, but it's now official.  

UConn G James Bouknight won't be declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft, and will return to the Huskies to play out his sophomore season in Storrs. The deadline to declare for the draft passed on Sunday. 

After averaging 13 points with 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, Bouknight was contemplating declaring for the draft. However, he's looking to actually increase that draft stock next season by getting those numbers up. 

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During this episode of Huskies at Home, UConn field hockey coach Nancy Stevens talks to SNY about how her players are spending time helping those in need in the community. 

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In the second episode of Huskies at Home, SNY's Maria Marino checks in with UConn baseball head coach Jim Penders, who talks about the disappointment of the season being canceled, and the unknown future ahead.  

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Jan 9, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Megan Walker (3) dribbles the ball against the Baylor Bears during the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jan 9, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Megan Walker (3) dribbles the ball against the Baylor Bears during the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Former UConn forward Megan Walker won't have to go far to start her WNBA career.

Walker was selected by the New York Liberty with the ninth overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft on Friday night, eight picks after the Liberty selected Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu with the first pick.

Walker announced in mid-March that she would be forgoing her senior season to declare for the draft. 

As a junior, Walker was named the AAC's Player of the Year, as well as the AAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. For the season, Walker led the Huskies with 19.7 points per game while also grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game.

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In the latest edition of Loud Mouths: The Great Debate, Maria Marino and Justine Ward discuss whether Diana Taurasi or Breanna Stewart is the greatest UConn women's basketball player in school history ...

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In the debut episode of Huskies at Home, SNY's Maria Marino checks in with Geno Auriemma to see how the UConn women's basketball coach and his players are doing. 

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UConn head coach Dan Hurley held an end of season teleconference on Thursday, updating some player injuries and offering other news about his team. 

According to Hurley, forward Tyler Polley should be be ready for the 2020-21 season opener following his ACL injury, while big man Akok Akok is most likely looking at the start of Big East conference play as the time he'll return from his Achilles injury. 

Polley, a 6-foot-9 junior from Miramar, Fla., tore his ACL during a Huskies practice on January 12. Polley was averaging 9.5 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range.

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Feb 10, 2020; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; UConn Huskies forward Megan Walker (3) drives around South Carolina Gamecocks guard Brea Beal (12) in the second half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Blake)
Feb 10, 2020; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; UConn Huskies forward Megan Walker (3) drives around South Carolina Gamecocks guard Brea Beal (12) in the second half at Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Blake)

UConn junior forward Megan Walker has announced that she will be forgoing her senior season and declare for the 2020 WNBA Draft.

As a junior, Walker was named the AAC's Player of the Year, as well as the AAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. For the season, Walker led the Huskies with 19.7 points per game while also grabbing 8.4 rebounds per game.

For her career, Walker racked up 1,251 total points and 615 rebounds.

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UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma said things are "not normal" in the aftermath of the NCAA canceling the  Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments and all remaining winter and spring sports due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking on a conference call Friday morning, Auriemma said that he doesn't plan to be anywhere or do anything out of the ordinary even though there is no practice and no games happening for the rest of the season.

Auriemma, who just led UConn to the AAC tournament championship, added that Crystal Dangerfield, a senior and a leader on his team, said that the conference championship wasn't the trophy she was playing for this year.

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Mar 7, 2020; Uncasville, CT, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half of the American Conference Championship Quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Arena. UConn defeated Temple 94-61. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2020; Uncasville, CT, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the Temple Owls in the second half of the American Conference Championship Quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Arena. UConn defeated Temple 94-61. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced the cancellation of the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as the remaining winter and spring NCAA championships due to the evolving COVID-19 public health threat.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma released a statement through the team's Twitter account in reaction to the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, after previously addressing the situation on Wednesday.

"This is incredibly disappointing in so many ways for so many people. The players, first and foremost, as well as every fan in the country. This is especially disappointing for our five seniors. They have been working so hard for this opportunity. We've been playing our best basketball these past six games and I'm sure they were looking forward to their final March Madness.

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Jan 23, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley during the first half against the Houston Cougars at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports (Maria Lysaker)
Jan 23, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley during the first half against the Houston Cougars at Fertitta Center. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports (Maria Lysaker)

Following suit with the rest of the NCAA, the AAC men's basketball tournament was canceled due to coronavirus concerns. 

Conferences around the NCAA like the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and many others decided it best to cancel their respective tournaments, and now the overall NCAA tournament has been cancelled, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.

"I think last night we had a pretty good sense that when we woke up today there would be the potential for this," UConn head coach Dan Hurley told the media via teleconference. 

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Mar 8, 2020; Uncasville, CT, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the South Florida Bulls in the second half of the American Conference Championship Semifinals at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2020; Uncasville, CT, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the South Florida Bulls in the second half of the American Conference Championship Semifinals at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

 

Wednesday's announcement by NCAA president Mark Emmert that upcoming championship games -- including the men's and women's basketball tournaments -- would be held without fans because of the United States' COVID-19 outbreak led to a response from Geno Auriemma.

UConn's longtime head women's basketball coach had a somber reaction to the coronavirus news that the directly affected the Huskies, who won the AAC tournament with Monday's 87-53 rout of Cincinnati.

In a statement released through the team's Twitter account, Auriemma addressed the "unprecedented" but "responsible" coronavirus steps being taking by the governing body of college athletics, proceeding through the NCAA tournament with caution.

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UConn's 87-53 victory over Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Monday sealed what was a perfect run in the league over the past seven seasons. The Huskies won every game they played against AAC competition, finishing with a 139-0 record. The school will rejoin the Big East for the 2020-21 season.

After the game, head coach Geno Auriemma reflected on what that meant to both him and the university.

"It means we didn't lose," Auriemma said. "We won them all. The object was to just play. The object was to keep doing what we were doing before. Don't change anything and see where that all takes us. It ended up being not that much different than what we were dpoing before. The only difference is that there were six or seven top-15, top-20 teams back then. It was really hard. But anytime you're able to win a championship, it's quite an accomplishment.

But to be able to do it seven out of seven times, that's actually pretty cool."

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Former UConn standout Maya Moore hasn't played a WNBA game since 2018, instead focusing on, among other things, criminal justice reform. 

Her efforts paid off on Monday when Jonathan Irons, a Missouri man convicted of burglary and assault 22 years ago, had his initial conviction vacated by a judge. Moore worked alongside Irons' family and friends to help overturn the conviction of a man, now 39 years old, who has served more than half of his life in prison.

"This day has been a long time coming," Moore said following the conclusion of the hearing. "We are just so grateful and thankful to God and to everybody who has played a role in bringing justice." 

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 26 points and Christyn Williams added 22 to lead No. 5 UConn over Cincinnati 87-53 on Monday night, finishing off a perfect run for the Huskies over their seven years in the American Athletic conference.

UConn went 139-0 in the American after it was formed in 2013, winning all but two games by double-digits. The Huskies are leaving the AAC at the end of the postseason to rejoin the Big East.

The Huskies, who also have won all seven AAC regular-season titles, kept their celebration subdued after the final buzzer sounded, trading hugs and dousing each other with confetti from a drink bucket..

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As the world continues to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak, sports teams across the globe have been taking cautionary measures toward preventing any additional spread of the virus.

Although there is now a conference policy in place for athletes to not shake hands after games, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma feels that idea is a bit ridiculous considering they all just spent hours playing against each other.

"We shook hands today, I ain't worried about it," Auriemma said after UConn's AAC Tournament win over USF on Sunday. "Our men played Houston the other day, they sweated on each other for two hours and then they weren't allowed to shake hands. ...I mean come on, don't get me started."

Watch the entire video above.

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UConn made Sunday's 79-38 win over South Florida look easy at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., but the No. 5 Huskies' rout of the Bulls to reach the AAC tournament title game required much more than what appeared on the surface.

Speaking with SNY's Maria Marino after the 41-point semifinal victory against fourth-seeded USF (19-13), head coach Geno Auriemma elaborated on the work that went into top-seeded UConn (28-3) arriving at the lopsided result.

"We've really done a good job of making people have to figure out how to score other than their favorite way of scoring," Auriemma said, alluding to the Bulls, who shot 12 of 58 (20.7 percent) from the field and 5 for 18 (27.8 percent) on three-pointers. "And with USF, they're very disciplined. They run their stuff and they're going to run their stuff. And if you let them run their stuff, they're going to get a good shot by the person they want shooting it. So each and every year, the challenge playing them is, 'Can you keep them from doing that?' And today, we did that ... and that's why the score was the way it was."

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) Christian Vital scored 28 points and Isaiah Whaley finished with a double-double and UConn beat Tulane 80-76 on Sunday to end American Athletic Conference play.

The two squads will face off again in the opening round of the conference tournament, which starts Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. The Huskies (19-12, 10-8), winners of eight of their last 10, are seeded fifth while Tulane (12-18, 4-14) is a 12 seed.

Brendan Adams scored 12 points, Whaley, Josh Carlton and Alterique Gilbert each scored 10. Whaley grabbed 10 rebounds with six coming on the offensive end.

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 21 points and No. 5 UConn beat South Florida 79-38 on Sunday to earn a chance at its seventh straight American Athletic Conference tournament title.

Christyn Williams added 15 points and Crystal Dangerfield had 13 in the semifinal win for the Huskies (28-3). Connecticut improved to 20-0 all-time in AAC tournament play after finishing 118-0 during the conference's seven regular seasons.

The Huskies are leaving the conference to return to the Big East next season.

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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Crystal Dangerfield scored 22 points to lead six UConn players in double-figures and the Huskies began their run at a seventh consecutive American Athletic Conference Tournament title with a 94-61 rout of Temple in the quarterfinals.

Freshman Aubrey Griffin put up the second double-double of her career, grabbing a season-high 16 rebounds to go with her 15 points off the bench for No. 5 UConn.

Megan Walker (17 points), Anna Makurat (14), Olivia Nelson-Ododa (12) and Christyn Williams (12) all contributed to the balanced scoring attack for the top-seeded Huskies (27-3).

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 26 points in his final home game and UConn beat No. 21 Houston 77-71 on Thursday night.

Freshman James Bouknight added 17 points and Isaiah Whaley had 13 for the Huskies (18-12, 9-8 American Athletic Conference), who won their fourth straight game, but just their second this season over a ranked opponent.

Quentin Grimes scored 24 points and Caleb Mills added 20 for Houston (22-8, 12-5), which fell into a tie for second place in the conference.

UConn took control with a 15-2 run in the second half while Houston's Nate Hinton and DeJon Jarreau dealt with foul trouble.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 23 points and No. 5 UConn completed its seventh consecutive undefeated American Athletic Conference regular season with an 80-39 rout of South Florida on Monday night.

Crystal Dangerfield, Christyn Williams and Aubrey Griffin each added 13 points for the Huskies (26-3, 16-0), who improved to 136-0 against AAC opponents, including all six conference tournaments. They open play in this season's tournament on Saturday, in the familiar position as the top seed.

Sydni Harvey had 16 points for South Florida (18-12, 10-6), which had won three straight.

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The Huskies cruised to a 52-point blowout win over Houston on Saturday, remaining perfect in AAC play.

After the game, head coach Geno Auriemma discussed how the team's passing has been so important to the last two wins.

"That's always a point," Auriemma explained. "You work really, really hard to instill that in kids that the better passer you are, the better team we have, and these last two games we've really passed the ball well, we've made the extra pass and we have been incredibly unselfish the last two games, and the score reflects that."

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) Christian Vital had a season-high 27 points as UConn cruised past East Carolina 84-63 on Saturday.

James Bouknight had 19 points and 10 rebounds for UConn (17-12, 8-8 American Athletic Conference). Isaiah Whaley added 16 points and seven rebounds. Brendan Adams had 11 points.

UConn totaled 42 first-half points, a season best for the team.

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HOUSTON (AP) Megan Walker had 21 points and nine rebounds, Anna Makurat added 16 points and No. 6 UConn beat Houston 92-40 on Saturday.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 14 points and nine rebounds, Crystal Dangerfield chipped in 10 points and seven assists and Christyn Williams had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (25-3, 15-0 American). UConn shot 56%, including hitting on 10 of 26 on 3-pointers.

The Huskies forced Houston into 20 turnovers, which they converted into 23 points and held a 52-22 advantage in points in the paint.

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This past Monday, fittingly on 2/24, a memorial service was held in Los Angeles to honor the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who, along with seven other people, passed away in a helicopter accident in late January.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma, who has grown close to the Bryant family, spoke at the service, and he explained to SNY what he wanted his main message about Kobe and Gianna to be.

"I think sometimes when you're dealing with sports, we have tunnel vision and all we see is what we're allowed to see," said Auriemma. "So we see Kobe in his Lakers uniform and we see him as a bigger-than-life figure that we all look at, celebrities like Kobe. And we see Gigi as a basketball player because that's all everybody ever talked about publicly, that she's a basketball player who wants to play at UConn and she's Kobe's daughter, and the WNBA and what Kobe's going to do for women's basketball because of his connection with Gigi and how much he loves the game and how much he loves the women that play the game.

"So my thing was, what about the other side of that, because there's always another side and that side rarely gets mentioned."

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Jan 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; UConn Huskies guard Sidney Wilson (15) controls the ball in the second half during the game against the Villanova Wildcats at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Ross)
Jan 18, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; UConn Huskies guard Sidney Wilson (15) controls the ball in the second half during the game against the Villanova Wildcats at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Ross)

UConn redshirt sophomore Sidney Wilson has been suspended indefinitely from the men's basketball team, effective immediately, due to a violation of team rules.

Wilson has appeared in 21 games this season and is averaging 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in 12.3 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Bronx, NY played his senior season of high school basketball at Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, NH), helping the team go 33-0 and winning the National Prep Championship.

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In recent years, UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma had become very close with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, as Bryant's daughter, Gianna, wanted to play her collegiate career with the Huskies.

Tragically, Kobe and Gianna, along with seven other people, passed away in a helicopter accident on January 26, sending shock waves through the sports worlds.

Auriemma, who noted how committed Gianna was to play for the Huskies, was asked to say some words about Kobe and Gianna at the memorial service held for them on Monday, something that he was both honored and saddened to do.

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The UConn Huskies easily handled their business on the road against Cincinnati on Wednesday, pulling away to a huge 105-58 win. 

After the game, sophomore guard Christyn Williams, who scored 26 points while grabbing eight rebounds and three assists, and head coach Geno Auriemma spoke about Williams finding her confidence.

"A lot of bad things were happening for her, so to see a couple go in, you just see it was like a big fog was lifted," said Auriemma. "She just looked more relaxed once a couple of them went in and then instead of being very tentative, she became very sure of herself." 

"It felt great," said Williams. "I've been struggling a lot this season to hit some shots, so it was good to see it go in tonight."

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Isaiah Whaley tied a career-high with 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to help UConn to an 81-65 win over UCF Wednesday in the American Athletic Conference.

Christian Vital also had 18 points and James Bouknight finished with 16 for the Huskies (16-12, 7-8 American Athletic Conference), who assured themselves of at least a .500 record for the first time in four seasons.

UConn led by just four points at halftime, but broke the game open with a 12-2 run early in the second half.

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CINCINNATI (AP) Megan Walker scored 25 points, freshman Anna Makurat added 20, and No. 6 UConn dominated a match-up of the American Athletic Conference's top two teams in every way, beating Cincinnati 105-58 Wednesday night.

The Huskies (24-3, 14-0) had already clinched their seventh AAC regular season title. After a sluggish start, they pulled away from Cincinnati (18-9, 9-5), which was in second place alone heading into the game.

The Bearcats had won 12 straight home games, one shy of the school record from 2002-03. Their hopes for a big upset evaporated in the second quarter as UConn surged ahead by 28 points.

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Fans of UConn women's basketball will continue to be able to catch Huskies games on SNY.

SNY and FOX Sports have reached a new multi-year sublicensing agreement keeping UConn women's basketball on SNY,  televising up to 18 regular season UConn women's basketball games per year, which will include exclusive pre- and post-game shows. 

"We are thrilled to continue to serve UConn's passionate fans on SNY through this agreement with FOX Sports," said Steve Raab, President of SNY, in the official press release. "SNY could not be prouder of its partnership with Geno and the UConn Women's Basketball program. For eight seasons, SNY has provided unprecedented coverage of the University's women's basketball program, helping grow UConn's record-setting audience in the region and across the country." 

The Huskies will be rejoining the Big East conference for the 2020-21 season.

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Thousands of people flocked to Staples Center on Monday for the public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant. 

Gianna was determined to play college basketball at UConn, and both head coach Geno Auriemma and former Huskie Diana Taurasi spoke at Monday's service. 

Auriemma spoke about how Kobe had become so invested while coaching Gianna's youth team. So much so that the legendary Laker would text Auriemma for advice on how to run drills and what he should be teaching on defense. 

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Feb 23, 2020; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) drives the ball against South Florida Bulls guard David Collins (0) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2020; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) drives the ball against South Florida Bulls guard David Collins (0) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 24 points and James Bouknight had 16 of his 19 points in the second half to lead UConn past South Florida 78-71 on Sunday.

Jalen Gaffney and Brendan Adams each added 10 points for Connecticut (15-12, 6-8 American)

Justin Brown scored 22 points and David Collins added 18 to lead USF (11-16, 4-10), which has lost four straight.

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Feb 23, 2020; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley reacts from the sideline as they take on the South Florida Bulls in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2020; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley reacts from the sideline as they take on the South Florida Bulls in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn men's basketball coach Dan Hurley received a subpoena from attorneys representing former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie on Sunday.

The University of Connecticut issued a statement in response to these reports:

The University of Connecticut today issued a statement in response to reports that head MBB Coach Dan Hurley received a subpoena from attorneys representing Kevin Ollie.

 

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UConn defeated UCF 66-53, making Saturday a special Senior Day in Storrs, Conn., as the Huskies took home their seventh AAC regular-season title.

After the game, seniors Molly Bent, Kyla Irvin, and Crystal Dangerfield spoke about their UConn careers, while head coach Geno Auriemma discussed the privilege of coaching them. 

"Being a little kid and dreaming of being here, dreaming of playing on this floor, it's meant everything," said Dangerfield. "I said it at the end of the game to our fans, that this has been home for four years and I'll take this with me wherever I go next."

"Parents of some of the kids were thanking me for letting their kids be part of this experience, and I'm thanking them for giving us four years of their kids," said Auriemma. "So, it's just a time to look back, and that's what I do during these times, look back to see where they were and where they are now."

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead No. 6 UConn to a 66-53 win over UCF and the outright regular-season championship in the American Athletic Conference.

Anna Makurat added 17 points and Crystal Dangerfield had 12 of her 14 in the second half for the Huskies (23-3, 13-0 American). They have won 50 conference regular-season or tournament titles in their 46 seasons.

Masseny Kaba scored 14 points and Kay Kay Wright had 12 to lead UCF (16-9, 8-5), which came into the game having won five in a row and six of seven.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Monty Scott scored 25 points and Nate Pierre-Louis added 23 points, both of which were career-highs, to help Temple to a 93-89 double-overtime win over UConn on Thursday night.

Quinton Rose added 15 points and Alani Moore II scored 14 for the Owls (14-12, 6-7 American Athletic Conference).

Christian Vital tallied 21 points and Isaiah Whaley had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskies (14-12, 5-8). UConn was playing its first game without freshman big man Akok Akok, who tore his left Achilles' early in Sunday's 64-61 home victory over Memphis.

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The UConn Huskies rolled to a 74-31 win over the Tulane Green Wave on Wednesday night.

With the win, UConn secured at least a share of the AAC regular-season title, improving to 22-3 on the season. 

After the game, head coach Geno Auriemma praised Megan Walker, who tied for the team lead with 18 points, but also played stellar defense throughout the game against Tulane leading scorer Krystal Freeman, who scored just seven points. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Anna Makurat and Megan Walker each scored 18 points and No. 6 UConn secured a share of its seventh straight American Athletic Conference regular-season title Wednesday night with a 74-31 rout of Tulane.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa recorded her sixth double-double of the season, her first since December, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for the Huskies (22-3, 12-0 American).

UConn, which this week fell from Top 5 in the ranking for the first time since February, 2007, has won all of its 114 regular-season conference games since the formation of the AAC and all six conference tournaments.

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