By Carl Adamec

When Geno Auriemma sent his University of Connecticut women's basketball team home for Christmas in 2010, the Huskies were on a roll and on top of the world having just one-upped UCLA's 88-game winning streak by routing Florida State at a sold-out XL Center in Hartford.

But by the time UConn reunited in California for games with Pacific and Stanford something had happened. The faces -- including Maya Moore, Kelly Faris, Bria Hartley, and Stefanie Dolson -- were the same but Auriemma could sense the Huskies were different. All of a sudden everything was a struggle. They beat Pacific but didn't look good doing it. When they got to Stanford two days later it caught up to them. The Cardinal jumped out to an early lead and went on to a 71-59 win at Maples Pavilion that ended UConn's NCAA-record winning streak.

The second-ranked Huskies are back at the scene of the loss for the first time since that event and Saturday they take on No. 1 Stanford (4 p.m., ESPNU) with only the top spot in the polls on the line.

For Auriemma, whatever was in the California air two years ago is gone and he expects his team to be up for its toughest challenge of the season to date.

"What I know is we don't have all that extra stuff hanging over us," Auriemma said. "This year, we didn't go home for Christmas with a 90-game winning streak so we didn't have to deal with all that emotional stuff that was happening during the entire month of December. This year we just went home and did our thing so I think right now we are the same team that played the University of Hartford."

The UConn coaches and players went home for the holiday after last Saturday's 102-45 win over Hartford and arrived in California Wednesday night in time to practice. After facing Stanford, the Huskies will head north to take on Oregon in Eugene Monday afternoon.

"When we came out here last time we got here on the 26th and we played the 28th and the 30th so we really didn't have the time that you would like," Auriemma said. "But this gives us a little more time maybe. I don't know if that makes a big difference or a little difference, but it doesn't feel as rushed. I think last time when we got here, we got here, we practiced, we played Pacific right away, we came here, and we played. And, plus, the streak and all that stuff that we were dealing with it just seemed to be a frenzy about it that I don't sense at all."

UConn (10-0) has not been atop the Associated Press rankings since the final poll of the 2010-11 season prior to the NCAA tournament. Stanford (11-0) has been No. 1 since knocking off defending national champion Baylor last month and its six-week run at No. 1 matches the longest the Cardinal have been in that spot.

Stanford has also won 82 straight home games, the second-longest streak to UConn's 99 in NCAA history. The Cardinal's last loss at Maples Pavilion was to Florida State in a 2007 NCAA tournament second-round game.

But the atmosphere surrounding the game isn't bigger than the game as it was two years ago, though another sellout crowd will be waiting for UConn.

"It is different," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "Last year's team was different when we played them. Two years ago the focus was definitely Maya Moore. We went over basically every situation that we could, where she catches the ball, what moves she wanted to make, how we were going to defend her. It wasn't all Maya Moore but a lot of it was her. This year's team, they do have a lot of weapons. Bria Hartley is a returning All-American. Whether they start Caroline Doty or Breanna Stewart, they are both outstanding players, Kelly Faris is playing very, very well. They have great size, athleticism, versatility and they are very well coached. We are not focused on one player as much as we are focused on their system."

UConn has four players averaging in double figures with Faris and reserve Brianna Banks in the nines. Stewart is the leading scorer with Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who had 25 against Stanford a year ago, right behind.

But Stanford has its share of offensive weapons as well.

All-American junior forward Chiney Ogwumike is averaging a double-double (21.8 points, 12.8 rebounds) and has to be a top challenger to Baylor's Brittney Griner as national Player of the Year. Senior forward Joslyn Tinkle has developed an inside game to complement her perimeter game. A season ago in the Huskies' 68-58 win over the Cardinal in Hartford, Stanford's backcourt did not get much accomplished. But sophomore Amber Orrange and junior Toni Kokenis are much improved and are off to solid starts.

Stanford is coming off a two-game road sweep last week of then-No. 21 South Carolina and then-No. 10 Tennessee.

"They've won some of the games that they've played, some big games that they've played, because they've played well as a team and not just that Chiney played well," Auriemma said. "They've gotten a lot better. I don't think there's anybody on Stanford's team that isn't better than they were last year. That's why they're where they are right now."

In the Huskies' win over the Cardinal last year, Faris drew the defensive assignment against Nneka Ogwumike, who went to be the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft and the league's Rookie of the Year last summer.

Faris, though she'll be giving up four inches in height, figures to get 6-foot-3 Chiney Ogwumike for long stretches Saturday.

"Stanford's got a lineup that's not easy to match up with," Auriemma said. "And I'm sure Kelly will end up guarding Chiney. I'm sure that will happen and I'm sure that will happen frequently. But one of the problems that I think teams have that have played Stanford is that if you put somebody like Kelly, who I think can do a great job, then Stefanie's stuck guarding a kid that spends most of her time on the perimeter.

"It's not an easy decision to make and just say, 'OK, we'll see if Kelly can handle Chiney and then we'll worry about everything else.' I don't know that that’s necessarily the best way to go about it all the time. So I think we're going to have to be smart about it. I'm not worried about what Kelly will do defensively. I don't think there's anybody in the country she can't guard. But, at the same time, I think we've got to be careful what the other matchups are because that's helping ourselves in one area and hurting ourselves in another."

Stanford has always been a tough defensive team under Hall of Fame coach VanDerveer. And the Cardinal coaching staff has certainly watched tapes of UConn's games with Maryland and Penn State, who kept the Huskies in the low-60s with a physical style.

But VanDerveer admits it needs to have a limit.

"I think there is a part for physical play but not at the expense of seeing the speed, the athleticism and skills that we have," she said. "We have never been a team that said we are going to try to beat you up. We are going to beat you with basketball and our team is basically about basketball. It is really important that our key players are in the game and available. I don't know what styles other people play. I, personally, think the game has become too physical and doesn't highlight the speed and skill of female players that people are paying good money to come and see. From my standpoint it is just a basketball game."

The Huskies are expected to be without sophomore Kiah Stokes (right shin) for the third straight game while freshman Morgan Tuck (right knee) has been practicing but is listed as questionable.

UConn is 0-3 all time at Maples Pavilion with losses in 1988, 1993, and 2010. The Huskies will come back again in two years but that doesn't do their juniors and seniors much good.

For Faris, the loss two years ago was one of only seven she's been a part of in 125 games at UConn.

"Any loss is going to be frustrating and stick with you," Faris said. "But at that point it was definitely a hard one because everybody thought that we were unstoppable. So I think it was good for us at that point.

"Being my senior year and we're coming back, I definitely want to leave here with a different feeling."

Tags: UCONN, Women's Basketball, Carl Adamec

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma coached his 1,143rd game with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team Thursday night.

He has had more great memories than anyone. But the top-ranked Huskies' 78-60 American Athletic Conference win over Tulsa before an announced crowd of 7,477 at Gampel Pavilion he'll remember as one he would love to forget.

"If I could have it my way, I would give every person that came tonight their money back. That was the most disgraceful effort I've seen at Connecticut in the 32 years I've been here.

"It doesn't bother me anymore, I see this every day in practice. I'm beyond being bothered. Some days we just hide it better than others. But give Tulsa all the credit in the world. They made shots. They were able to take the ball where they wanted to take it. We won because we have All-Americans and they don't. That's the bottom line..."

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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Geno turns to bench early in win 00:01:17
Kara Wolters breaks down why Geno Auriemma turned to his bench earlier than usual, and how they need to improve as the season progresses.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Azura Stevens came off the bench to score 22 points and lead top-ranked UConn to a closer-than-expected 78-60 win over Tulsa on Thursday night.

Napheesa Collier had 19 points and Kia Nurse added 17 for the Huskies (17-0, 6-0 American Athletic Conference) who have never lost in the conference. UConn has won 76 straight regular-season games and all four conference tournaments.

Shug Dickson had 17 points and Erica Wakefield scored 13 to lead Tulsa (8-11, 2-4), which had lost each of their previous seven games to the Huskies by an average of just under 49 points.

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Geno talks pressure 00:00:38
On an all-new Geno Auriemma Show, the UConn coach talks about how his players respond to pressure, tonight at 9:30pm on SNY.

On an all-new Geno Auriemma Show, the UConn coach talks about how his players respond to pressure, tonight at 9:30 p.m. on SNY.

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Jan 9, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Azura Stevens (23) reacts after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 9, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Azura Stevens (23) reacts after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

All-Americans Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams are calling out the reserves.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier
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Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)
Jan 16, 2018; Memphis, TN, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) goes to the basket against Memphis Tigers guard Jeremiah Martin (3) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports (Justin Ford)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Mike Parks Jr. and Jeremiah Martin had 21 points and 11 rebounds each as Memphis built an early lead and ran away from UConn 73-49 on Tuesday night.

Kareen Brewton Jr. added 10 points for the Tigers (13-6, 4-2 American Athletic Conference), who never trailed in the game en route to their fourth straight victory. >> Read more

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 (Erich Schlegel)
(Erich Schlegel)

AUSTIN, Texas -- Katie Lou Samuelson had lost the battle, but at least she won the war.

And the University of Connecticut women's basketball team junior All-American had not lost her sense of humor Monday night after she finished with a game-high 19 points and a swollen left eye as the top-ranked Huskies held off No. 9 Texas 75-71 before a partisan announced crowd of 11,877 at the Frank Erwin Center.

"I just got a nice elbow," Samuelson said. "It got more swollen throughout the game. It's good right now. I think it looks pretty with all the colors."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn wins 00:00:55
Michell Yu on SportsNite has the highlights from Monday's UConn women's basketball game as they took on No. 9 Texas in Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Crystal Dangerfield wanted the ball.

More important, her All-American and all-conference award winning teammates with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team wanted her to have it as well.

The sophomore point guard sank two free throws with 8.3 seconds to give her team a two-possession lead and No. 1 UConn survived an inspired effort from ninth-ranked Texas to take home a 75-71 non-league win before an announced crowd of 11,877 at the Frank Erwin Center on Monday.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn wins 00:00:55
Michell Yu on SportsNite has the highlights from Monday's UConn women's basketball game as they took on No. 9 Texas in Austin.

Katie Lou Samuelson scored 19 points and Crystal Dangerfield made two free throws with 8 seconds left to help top-ranked UConn survive a tough upset bid from No. 9 Texas with a 75-71 win Monday night.

UConn (16-0) found itself challenged like it seldom has been this season and trailed early in the fourth quarter before scrapping back for the win. Azura Stevens scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter.

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Connecticut Huskies forward Napheesa Collier makes the basket against the UCF Knights in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies forward Napheesa Collier makes the basket against the UCF Knights in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

AUSTIN, Texas -- For almost two decades, Martin Luther King Jr. Day meant national television and a nationally-ranked opponent for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

But while the Huskies have played numerous big games on the third Monday of January, for them there's nothing bigger than remembering whom the holiday honors.

"It's always a special day, especially for everything Dr. King did for African-Americans," UConn All-American Napheesa Collier said. "It's hard for me to explain, but I know some of the things he did as a Civil Rights leader and they were amazing. In part because of what he did, I can play basketball and I can go to school where I want."

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UConn handles Houston, 95-35 00:01:41
Katie Lou Samuelson and Kia Nurse combined for 34 points and nine assists as UConn defeated the Houston Cougars, 95-35.

HOUSTON (AP) Azura Stevens had 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to lead four players in double-figures scoring, and top-ranked UConn used a strong defensive effort to rout Houston 95-35 on Saturday.

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UConn takes down Tulane, 67-57 00:00:33
Check out all the highlights from UConn's 67-57 road win over Tulane in AAC action.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jalen Adams saw opportunities for his Connecticut teammates in the first half.

In the second half he saw Tulane's defense focusing on them so he created opportunities for himself.

Adams scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half as the Huskies defeated the Green Wave, 67-57, in an American Athletic Conference game Saturday.

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Nov 25, 2017; Eugene, OR, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Andra Espinoza-Hunter (2) shoots over Michigan State Spartans guard Taryn McCutcheon (4) in the second half at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports (Jaime Valdez)
Nov 25, 2017; Eugene, OR, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Andra Espinoza-Hunter (2) shoots over Michigan State Spartans guard Taryn McCutcheon (4) in the second half at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports (Jaime Valdez)

On Dec. 30, 2014, Andra Espinoza-Hunter made her verbal commitment to play basketball at the University of Connecticut. Then midway through her sophomore year at Blair Academy in New Jersey, she became the youngest player to commit to the Huskies.

But after waiting more than two years to get to Storrs, her stay lasted just one semester. UConn announced Friday that Espinoza-Hunter has decided to transfer.

"I have enjoyed getting to know Andy and her family," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. "Everyone at UConn wishes Andy all the best as she continues her college career elsewhere."

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STORRS, Conn. - Chris Dailey was in the audience last June when SNY studio analyst and former University of Connecticut All-American Kara Wolters was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The roles could be reversed later this year.

Dailey, in her 33rd season on head coach Geno Auriemma's staff at UConn, is one of 10 finalists for the WBHOF's Class of 2018, it was announced Thursday night. The inductees will be announced in February. The Hall's by-laws require a minimum of four inductees per year with a maximum of seven. Six have been inducted each year since 2003...

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Jan 10, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) and guard Jalen Adams (4) celebrate their win over the UCF Knights at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports  (David Butler II)
Jan 10, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) and guard Jalen Adams (4) celebrate their win over the UCF Knights at Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 18 points to lead UConn to a 62-53 win over UCF on Wednesday night.

Terry Larrier and Jalen Adams each added 13 points for the Huskies (9-7, 2-2 American), who won their second straight after a four-game losing streak.

Ceasar DeJesus led UCF (12-5, 3-2) with 13 points. Terrell Allen had 12 and Tacko Fall finished with 11 points. >> Read more.

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Jan 9, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Azura Stevens (23) reacts after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 9, 2018; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Azura Stevens (23) reacts after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- When it comes to dealing with the three referees, Geno Auriemma does the talking for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.

The Hall of Fame coach had no issues with Dee Kantner, Bryan Enterline, and Kevin Pethtel following No. 1 UConn's 80-44 American Athletic Conference win over Central Florida at Gampel Pavilion Tuesday night. Instead, he saved his best sarcasm for his players, who did not deal with UCF's physical style well.

"The first half offensively we had a chip on our shoulder toward the officials," Auriemma said. "Our players didn't think the officials did a good enough job of helping the UConn players look really, really good. I think some players on our team think it is the officials' job to help them be really good.

Tags: Azura Stevens, Crystal Dangerfield, Carl Adamec
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UConn Huskies defeat UCF, 80-44 00:02:17
The UConn women's basketball team defeated UCF, 80-44, on Tuesday night to improve to 14-0 on the season.

STORRS, Conn. -- When the University of Connecticut women's basketball team won its 100th consecutive game by beating South Carolina last Feb. 13, Gampel Pavilion was electric.

Tags: Azura Stevens
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Connecticut Huskies forward Eric Cobb shoots against Syracuse Orange forward Bourama Sidibe in the first half of the Men's Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies forward Eric Cobb shoots against Syracuse Orange forward Bourama Sidibe in the first half of the Men's Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. (Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Connecticut men's basketball team suspended junior forward Eric Cobb indefnitely for "conduct deemed detrimental to the team," it announced in a statement provided to the Hartford Courant.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

Napheesa Collier is experiencing the life of a returning All-American. Her phenomenal sophomore season a year ago put a target on the back of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's forward.

The Huskies' opponents are going harder at her than ever before. But her rivals' efforts pale compared to how hard Collier is on herself.

"I know the work that I put into this and I know that my shots are eventually going to start falling," Collier said. "I try to keep pushing and working through this slump."

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UConn stays perfect, downs USF 00:01:57
The UConn Huskies steamrolled the University of South Florida on Saturday to stay undefeated on the season.

TAMPA, Fla. -- After she torched South Florida for 40 points in the last meeting nine months ago, the Bulls found a way to stop Katie Lou Samuelson on Saturday.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:42
The UConn men's basketball team defeated Eastern Carolina, 70-65.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Jalen Adams scored 18 points and UConn held off East Carolina 70-65 on Saturday for its first conference win this season.

Terry Larrier and Christian Vital each added 16 points for the Huskies (8-7, 1-2), who snapped a four-game losing streak.

B.J. Tyson led all scorers with 21 for ECU (7-8, 1-3), but missed a big 3-pointer with three seconds left that would have tied the game.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier reacts with guard Gabby Williams after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier reacts with guard Gabby Williams after a play against the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

TAMPA, Fla. -- It cost $10 million for the University of Connecticut to repair the roof and ceiling of Gampel Pavilion during the summer and fall.

The Huskies women's basketball team would be hard-pressed to tell you how it looks.

"It's kind of always felt like that because we rarely get to play at Gampel," UConn All-American Gabby Williams said. "But this year it has been different. We're like the circus, we go wherever we're told to go."

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson warms up before the start of the game against the Oregon Ducks in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson warms up before the start of the game against the Oregon Ducks in the finals of the Bridgeport Regional of the women's 2017 NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Katie Lou Samuelson's second bid in four days for her first career double-double with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team came up just short again, but the junior All-American's expanded game is giving her more paths to get it.

After missing a double-double by one rebound Sunday against Memphis, Samuelson came up one assist short Wednesday, finishing with 19 points and nine assists along with five rebounds and three steals in No. 1 UConn's 96-35 American Athletic Conference rout of East Carolina at Minges Coliseum.

"Since I've been here I've developed so many things in my game that I never had at all," Samuelson said. "I feel comfortable that I can impact the game in all kinds of different aspects. I don't need to every single game because of how versatile our team is. (Wednesday) I had the ball in my hands a lot and was trying to get it up the floor as quickly as I could and find my teammates. They were finishing well so that added up in assists."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: UConn loses 00:00:41
The UConn men's basketball team comes up just short at the buzzer in Wednesday night's 90-88 loss to Tulsa in double-overtime.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Corey Henderson scored a career-high 30 points, including two 3-pointers in the last 37 seconds of regulation, as Tulsa eked out a 90-88 double overtime victory over UConn to remain unbeaten in the American Conference.

Tulsa (10-5, 3-0) got two free throws by Henderson with 22 seconds left in the second overtime to go ahead 89-86 and had to survive two UConn misses in the final seconds. Jalen Adams, who led the Huskies with 29 points, missed on a drive, and Terry Larrier, who had 19 points, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. >> Read more

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UConn defeats East Carolina 00:02:06
Check out highlights from UConn women's basketball's 96-35 victory over East Carolina.

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Gabby Williams came from nowhere to the baseline and did a 2012 United States Olympic Trials-like high jump to save the ball to Kia Nurse. Then Nurse fired a pass over to an open Katie Lou Samuelson behind the arc.

With the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's bench already on its feet with the save and now jumping up and down with arms raised, Samuelson found nothing but net on the 3 and the roar from the sideline was heard throughout Minges Coliseum.

Tags: Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier
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Geno talks Gabby Williams 00:01:55
On an all-new Geno Auriemma Show, the UConn coach talks about the development of Gabby Williams, today at 4:30pm on SNY.

On an all-new Geno Auriemma Show, the UConn coach talks about the development of Gabby Williams, today at 4:30pm on SNY.

Tags: Gabby Williams
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Dec 31, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) reacts after scoring against the Memphis Lady Tigers in the second half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports  (David Butler II)
Dec 31, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) reacts after scoring against the Memphis Lady Tigers in the second half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- For the first 19 years of her life, almost all things on the basketball court came easy for Megan Walker. On Nov. 21, two days before she turned 19, she scored 13 points to help the University of Connecticut defeat UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

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On the Clock w/ Geno and Justine 00:02:10
SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about the off-beat things going on in the world of sports.

SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about the off-beat things going on in the world of sports.

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Nurse's offense improves in 2017 00:02:14
Before the UConn women's game against Memphis, Kara Wolters analyzes Kia Nurse's fantastic offensive season thus far.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Kia Nurse made headlines in Canada the night of Dec. 22 as she scored 24 points for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in her homecoming game against Duquesne at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

But that wasn't the biggest news of the day in her family. That afternoon, her cousin, Sarah, was among 23 players named to the Canadian women's ice hockey team that will take part in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, Feb. 9-25.

"She'll probably be the first member of the Nurse family to come home with an Olympic medal, most likely gold," Kia Nurse said. "I'm not going to lie. They are very good and she is very good."

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UConn downs Memphis, 97-49 00:01:53
Gabby Williams made all 10 of her shots as the UConn Huskies handily defeated Memphis, 97-49.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) UConn coach Geno Auriemma was happy to see Gabby Williams back to her All-American form Sunday.

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Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma watches during the first quarter an NCAA college basketball game against Stanford, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Back when the University of Connecticut women's basketball team was trying to win the Big East regular season championship, coach Geno Auriemma had a formula of how the Huskies could get it done.

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Mar 5, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) returns up court against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Cincinnati defeated UConn 67-47. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 5, 2017; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) returns up court against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Cincinnati defeated UConn 67-47. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Landry Shamet scored 16 points to lead No. 8 Wichita State to a 72-62 victory over UConn on Saturday in the Shockers' first American Athletic Conference game.

Rashard Kelly, Conner Frankamp and Austin Reaves each added 11 points for Wichita State (11-2, 1-0) which has won three straight.

Jalen Adams and Terry Larrier each had 18 points for the Huskies (7-6, 0-1), who have lost three in a row and four of their last five. Christian Vital chipped in with 17 points for UConn.

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Dec 23, 2017; Auburn, AL, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) puts up a shot around Auburn Tigers forward Desean Murray (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Dec 23, 2017; Auburn, AL, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (4) puts up a shot around Auburn Tigers forward Desean Murray (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- After 72 years in the Missouri Valley, No. 8 Wichita State officially steps into American Athletic Conference with its league debut at Connecticut on Saturday.

"Obviously you want to make a good first impression," leading scorer Landry Shamet told Kansas.com recently. "But we're approaching this like we would with any other good teams we've played. We just look at it like we have another good team we have to go try and beat."

The Shockers, who had advanced as high as the No. 3 spot in the poll, dropped to No. 11 but are back in the top 10 at No. 8 as they bring a 10-2 record into this game against the Huskies (7-5).

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Feb 27, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) looks to get past South Florida Bulls forward Kitija Laksa (33) in the first half at USF Sun Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Feb 27, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) looks to get past South Florida Bulls forward Kitija Laksa (33) in the first half at USF Sun Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

STORRS, Conn. - Crystal Dangerfield has fit seamlessly into the University of Connecticut women's basketball team lineup that includes a four-year starter and three All-Americans.

It hasn't been as easy as she has made it look. A lot of hard work went into earning her spot. So the Christmas holiday came at a perfect time for the Huskies' sophomore point guard. Not only did she deserve a break, she needed one.

From summer school to her time with USA Basketball's U-19 national team, to the Huskies' tour of Italy, to preseason and the start of the regular season, Dangerfield has been going non-stop. But following UConn's win over Duquesne on Dec. 22, she got to spend five days at home with her family in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

"I just wanted to clear my mind," Dangerfield said on Friday...

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Carl Adamec
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Nov 17, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) works for the ball against California Golden Bears forward CJ West (30) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 17, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) works for the ball against California Golden Bears forward CJ West (30) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Katie Lou Samuelson has been named AAC Player of the Week after she scored 33 points in UConn's 104-52 win over Duquesne.

Samuelson made 11 of 14 shots from the field against Duquesne, including 8 of 9 from three-point range.

The Huskies are next in action on New Year's Eve against Memphis. 

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:41
The Connecticut Huskies suffered a tough loss on the road at 11-1 Auburn, falling 89-64 to the Tigers.

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Desean Murray and Mustapha Heron each scored 13 points and a balanced effort led Auburn to an 89-64 win over UConn on Saturday.

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Auriemma on early-season mindset 00:04:26
On the latest edition of the Geno Auriemma Show, UConn's head coach breaks down his team's start to the season.

GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:45
The top-ranked UConn Huskies defeated Duquesne 104-52 on Friday night to improve their record to 10-0.

TORONTO (AP) Katie-Lou Samuelson scored a season-high 33 points, Kia Nurse had 24 and No. 1 UConn posted its biggest victory of the season, routing Duquesne 104-52 on Friday.

Samuelson made 8 of 9 3-point attempts, including seven straight in the second and third quarters before taking the rest of the night off.

Chassidy Omogrosso scored 15 points and Libby Bazelak had 14 for Duquesne (10-3), which had won eight in a row.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will take on the Duquesne Dukes in Toronto on Friday night at 7 p.m.

Senior guard Kia Nurse should fit right at home in Toronto as she is from Hamilton, Ontario -- a mere 40 miles from the site of tonight's contest. Nurse is currently leading all of Division I players with a 54.3 3-point percentage this season. 

Head coach Geno Auriemma, who notched his 1,000th win against Oklahoma last time out, will look to keep his winning streak going. 

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn 00:00:29
The Arizona Wildcats pull away late to secure a 73-58 victory over the Huskies, handing them their fourth loss of the season Thursday night.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Rawle Alkins scored 20 points, Dusan Ristic had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 18 Arizona used a late run to pull away for a 73-58 victory over UConn on Thursday night.

Arizona (10-3) traded ugly possessions with the Huskies in the first half before both teams found an offensive rhythm in the second. The Wildcats took control behind their defense during a late 8-0 run that pushed their lead to 65-55 and on to their seventh straight win since an 0-3 trip to the Bahamas.

Arizona made 14 of 23 shots in the second half to win its 47th straight non-conference home game and beat UConn for the first time in six attempts all-time.

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Connecticut's Kia Nurse looks to pass around Stanford's DiJonai Carrington during the third quarter an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)
Connecticut's Kia Nurse looks to pass around Stanford's DiJonai Carrington during the third quarter an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Connecticut won 78-53. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (David Dermer/AP)

STORRS, Conn. -- Kia Nurse was born not only into a family of athletes, but competitors.

"If you ever sat at the dinner table in the Nurse household you would think that all of us were insane," the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's senior guard said.

But if there's a discussion of the most competitive players to come through coach Geno Auriemma's program, Nurse's name would be prominent.

Tags: Kia Nurse
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Kevin Ollie reacts during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Cincinnati. (AP)
Kevin Ollie reacts during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Cincinnati. (AP)

If it's not one thing, it's another for Arizona it seems this season.

Less than two weeks after Rawle Alkins made his return to the floor after missing the first nine games of the season with a broken foot, the Wildcats had to watch leading scorer Allonzo Trier writhing in pain in an 83-53 win over North Dakota State on Monday night.

The play came with about 10 minutes to go in the game as Trier was looking to stick with North Dakota State guard Paul Miller when the two collided. The Arizona guard quickly hit the ground and grabbed his knee, bringing silence to McKale Center. Eventually, Trier was helped off the floor, and he returned a short time later with an ice bag on the injured knee.

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On the Clock w/ Geno and Justine 00:02:09
SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about the off-beat things going on in the world of sports.

SNY's Justine Ward chats with UConn head coach Geno Auriemma about the off-beat things going on in the world of sports.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma celebrates his 1,000th win with his assistant coaches and players after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Mohegan Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma celebrates his 1,000th win with his assistant coaches and players after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Mohegan Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Chris Dailey was impressed, and it had nothing to do with the top-ranked University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 88-64 victory over Oklahoma in the Naismith Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

As part of the postgame celebration of win No. 1,000 for head coach Geno Auriemma and his associate head coach Dailey, several members of the 1985-86 Huskies -- their first team -- were introduced to the sellout crowd. Among the players returning to the state was Jennifer Weideman.

"She came from France and that's pretty impressive," Dailey said. "I don't know if I would have come all that way...

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Napheesa Collier, Carl Adamec
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GEICO SportsNite: Auriemma's win 00:02:02
The UConn women's basketball team defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 88-64, for Geno Auriemma's 1,000th win of his career Tuesday.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Katie Lou Samuelson buried a 3-pointer with 3:37 left Tuesday night and the event staff at Mohegan Sun Arena began handing out commemorative posters to the sellout crowd.

The remaining time was a countdown to Geno Auriemma's 1,000th win with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team. But the milestone didn't come without Oklahoma making it interesting.

Napheesa Collier, Azura Stevens, Samuelson and Kia Nurse combined for 77 points as the top-ranked Huskies made Auriemma the fourth Division I women's coach to reach the plateau with an 88-64 victory over the Sooners before 9,151 fans in the Naismith Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase.

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BREAKING: Auriemma's 1,000th win 00:01:40
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma reflects on his career after winning his 1,000th win Tuesday night against Oklahoma.

UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma reflects on his career after winning his 1,000th win Tuesday night against Oklahoma.


Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the UCF Knights in the second half of the semifinals during the women's AAC Conference Tournament at Mohegun Sun Arena. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The irony wasn't lost on Geno Auriemma that the first opportunity to win his 1,000th career game would come at a casino.

There were no guarantees when he came from Virginia or when Chris Dailey came from Rutgers to take over the University of Connecticut women's basketball team that success would follow. Prior to his hiring on May 18, 1985, the Huskies had one winning season and an overall record of 92-162.

But the gamble paid off, thanks to his own skills, knowledge and personality, and his ability to bring in players that bought into his philosophy.

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GEICO SportsNite: Auriemma's win 00:02:02
The UConn women's basketball team defeated the Oklahoma Sooners, 88-64, for Geno Auriemma's 1,000th win of his career Tuesday.

Geno Auriemma won his 1000th game as top-ranked UConn beat Oklahoma 88-64 on Tuesday night in the Hall of Fame women's Holiday Showcase.

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Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma reacts in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Mar 31, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma reacts in the second quarter against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals of the women's Final Four at American Airlines Center. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

STORRS, Conn. -- Chris Dailey's first impression of working alongside Geno Auriemma 32 years ago has lasted a lifetime.

"I thought he was crazy," Dailey said Monday of their Nov. 23, 1985, debut on the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sideline, a 73-67 overtime win at Iona that featured Auriemma picking up two technical fouls. "I was like, 'Oh my goodness.' "

What Auriemma and Dailey have done together with the Huskies since is, well, crazy as evidenced by the 11 national championship banners that hang inside Gampel Pavilion.

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Oklahoma Sooners head coach Sherri Coale signals to her team against the Baylor Bears in the first quarter during the women's Big 12 Conference tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners head coach Sherri Coale signals to her team against the Baylor Bears in the first quarter during the women's Big 12 Conference tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will try to make history for its coach Geno Auriemma on Tuesday night, but Sherri Coale has been there and done that.

Auriemma will go for his 1,000th career win when the top-ranked Huskies (8-0) face Coale and Oklahoma in the Naismith Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena. He would be the third or fourth women's coach -- depending on the result of Tuesday afternoon's North Carolina-Grambling game as the Tar Heels' Sylvia Hatchell seeks the four-figure plateau -- in the 1,000-win club.

But Coale already knows how to throw a wrench in an opponent's plans. On Feb. 2, 2009, the Sooners defeated Tennessee 80-70 in Oklahoma City to deny late Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt of her 1,000th win in her first attempt. Summitt would reach the milestone three days later against Georgia.

"I never looked at Connecticut's schedule and I was unaware of it until people started talking about it a couple of weeks ago," Coale said Monday. "It's crazy how that works out, isn't it?"

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