Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams have been part of two losses in three seasons with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team.
The seniors will get the chance to avenge at least one of them.
UConn will play Stanford in its season opener on Nov. 12 in the Countdown to Columbus event to be played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Huskies were originally scheduled to take on Ohio State in the one-day showcase at the site of the 2018 NCAA Final Four. But the Buckeyes will now face Louisville in the second game of the doubleheader. Times and television information are still to be determined.
The Huskies lead the overall series with the Cardinal 10-7, including 4-2 in NCAA tournament play. But in the last meeting at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 17, 2014, Stanford received a late 3-pointer from Amber Orrange to force overtime and pulled out an 88-86 victory to snap UConn's 47-game winning streak. The Huskies followed the defeat in Palo Alto by winning their next 111 games. That NCAA record run was stopped by Mississippi State in the Final Four semifinals last March 31 in Dallas.
Nurse had nine points in what was her second career game. She fouled out for the first of only two times in her career. It was also the last time she's come off the bench, having started the last 107 games she has played. Williams did not play -- coach's decision -- in Palo Alto. The All-American forward has played in 112 consecutive games since.
Stanford also snapped UConn's 90-game winning streak on Dec. 30, 2010. The Cardinal are coached by Naismith Hall of Fame inductee Tara VanDerveer.
UConn's 13-game non-league schedule will also have it hosting California-Berkeley (Nov. 17), Maryland (Nov. 19), Notre Dame (Dec. 3), and Louisville (Feb. 12), visiting UCLA (Nov. 21), Nevada (Nov. 28), DePaul (Dec. 8), Texas (Jan. 15), and South Carolina (Feb. 1), and neutral site games with Michigan State in Eugene, Oregon (Nov. 25), Oklahoma at Mohegan Sun Arena (Dec. 19), and Duquesne in Toronto (Dec. 22).
The Huskies' 16-game American Athletic Conference schedule will have them playing five schools -- Central Florida, Memphis, South Florida, Temple and Tulane -- home and away, hosting Cincinnati, Tulsa, and Wichita State, while visiting East Carolina, Houston, and SMU.
MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY
UConn's Geno Auriemma -- who coached the United States national team to two Olympic and two FIBA worlds championships gold medals -- served as the lead clinician during USA Basketball's U-23 trials, which wrapped up in Colorado Springs on Aug. 4, at the request of national team director Carol Callan.
"Carol just wanted us to start talking to the 23-year-olds about, 'If you ever want to be an Olympian, these are some of the things that you're going to have to understand,' " Auriemma said. "It doesn't necessarily have to do with talent all the time. There are a lot of times that talented players don't become Olympians. So it was a little of that and not as much technical like how you run a pick-and-roll."
One of the players impressed by his talks was Tennessee senior Jaime Nared, who was selected to her first USA Basketball team. She and her teammates will represent their country in the Four Nations Tournament that begins in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday. Louisville's Jeff Walz is the U-23 coach.
"I haven't been around Coach Auriemma at all, really, my whole life," Nared said in an interview with the Associated Press' Doug Feinberg that is posted on YouTube. "But, obviously, everybody hears about his success and him as a coach. Just being around him ... I was sitting next to Brooke (Texas guard McCarty) during one of his talks and I was like, 'He's so cool. He's so dope.' You hear about him but you never really get to listen to him and hear what he has to say.
"Just his knowledge of the game, his knowledge of us as kids, just what he had to tell us about what we could do to be better in all aspects off the court as far as our mentalities and on the court issues, it was just so informing. I was just listening and I was really amazed. He's really knowledgeable. I wouldn't mind having a conversation with him for like hours because I feel like he knows so much."
Nared averaged 15.6 points and 6.9 rebounds a season ago in earning all-SEC second-team honors. She had a career high 30 points in a win at Mississippi State, hit two free throws with five seconds left to give the Lady Vols a win at South Carolina, and hit the deciding shot with 11 seconds to go in a come-from-behind win over Notre Dame.
Among her teammates in Tokyo is Tennessee redshirt senior Mercedes Russell. UConn's Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson, Azura Stevens, and Williams took part in the trials even though they knew they would not be picked for the team due to the scheduling conflict with the Huskies' tour of Italy. Auriemma was impressed with Nared.
"Jaime's really good and really talented," Auriemma said. "As is Mercedes Russell. I haven't really seen them play a lot since high school. I don't see them that often now since we don't play them. But I thought the two of them were really impressive for a lot of reasons out in Colorado. I'm not surprised that they both made the team. They were really, really good."
Other participants in the round-robin tourney include Australia, Canada and Japan.
NURSE, CANADA ADVANCE
Nurse scored eight points as Canada clinched the top seed in Group B pool play and a spot in the FIBA AmericaCup 2017 semifinals with an 86-64 win over Paraguay Thursday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Canada (4-0) will face the No. 2 seed out of Group A in one semfinal Saturday. Puerto Rico (3-1) is the second seed out of Group B and will take on Group A's top seed Saturday. Group A play concludes later Thursday. The gold- and bronze-medal games will be played Sunday. The top three teams from the tournament receive berths in the 2018 World Cup in Spain. Former UCLA guard Nirra Fields led Canada with 25 points. Nurse was 3-for-13 shooting from the floor.