By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. -- Breanna Stewart's summer schedule since the end of her freshman year at Cicero-North Syracuse High has included playing for USA Basketball.

This summer was no different as she represented her country at the Pan American Games. What was a bit different for the University of Connecticut senior standout was there was some vacation in her final academic summer.

"It was busy, but then again it wasn't," Stewart said. "I played USA Basketball but then I had the opportunity to go home and enjoy my family for a month, which usually doesn't happen. It gave me a chance to recover and get ready for a new season."

For the past month, she's been here with the Huskies taking part in preseason workouts. But USA Basketball is calling again. She's expected to take part in a 10-day European tour starting next week that will take coach Geno Auriemma and a group of senior national team pool players to Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic for four games.

The two-time national Player of the Year will be back on campus in plenty of time for First Night festivities on Oct. 16 at Gampel Pavilion. The regular season opener is a month later -- Nov. 16 at Ohio State.

"This one is different," Stewart said. "We know what's at stake. We know we have an opportunity to do something that no one has ever done before in the women's game -- win four in a row.

"I think it's something that is going to motivate us even more, make sure we are ultra-focused whether it's individuals, practice or pickups. To do something that no one has ever done before, we're going to have to work harder than anyone has ever worked before."

Tennessee (1996-98) and UConn (2002-04 and 2013-15) have won three national championships in a row. The previous teams that went for a four-peat did not even got back to the Final Four.

The only three-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player in women's NCAA history, Stewart averaged 17.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.7 blocked shots as a junior in earning consensus Player of the Year honors. She'll enter her final season with 1,960 points, 856 rebounds, 288 blocked shots, and 279 assists. The 6-foot-4 forward is in line to become the sixth player in UConn's 1,000-point/1,000 rebound club with Rebecca Lobo, Jamelle Elliott, Tina Charles, Maya Moore, and Stefanie Dolson, and on pace to finish in the Top 5 all-time at UConn in points, rebounds, and blocked shots.

She'll enter the regular season having started UConn's last 84 games. The Huskies are 83-1.

And -- watch out -- she says she's "definitely" a better player than the one that walked off the court in Amalie Arena in Tampa with the national championship trophy almost six months ago.

"I would describe it as being smarter on the court," Stewart said. "Things are slower in my mind. I want to understand what the defense is doing, expect double teams and that kind of thing. I'm just trying to be as prepared as possible. And I'm still working on my ballhandling and that will always be a work in progress."

Part of her offseason was spent in Toronto at the Pan American Games. Playing five games in five days, Stewart -- who turned her right ankle 90 seconds into the tourney opener against Brazil -- led Team USA in scoring (18.6) and was second in rebounds (9.0) while sharing the lead in blocked shots (1.5) and steals (1.8).

Playing against other country's senior national squads, Stewart and fellow UConn senior All-American Moriah Jefferson guided Team USA to the final. But in the gold-medal game, Huskies' sophomore Kia Nurse torched the Americans for 33 points and host Canada won Pan-Am gold for the first time, 81-73.

"It was certainly different than being at UConn," Stewart said. "And it was different from the first time I was a part of it because that was when I was in high school. You have to learn to lead a team in different ways, especially with players you don't know that well. To play against other country's national teams was a great experience."

Stewart has six gold medals in eight competitions with USA Basketball. Her only misses are in Pan-Am play. In 2011, the first high school player to represent Team USA in the Games since Nancy Lieberman in 1975 averaged a double-double but the Americans failed to reach the medal round. Then there was the silver medal last July.

How about 2019?

"I'll think about doing it again in four years," Stewart said with a smile.

But before then, before her attempt to make the 2016 United States Olympic team, before it's expected she'll be the No. 1 overall pick by the Seattle Storm in next April's WNBA Draft, there's her senior year.

During the Huskies' recent trip to the White House, Auriemma said, "We'll see you next year" to President Obama.

That's what Stewart has in mind.

"We know this is going to be probably the hardest year we've had," Stewart said. "No one wants to see us do this besides us, and with that it brings out the competitive fire in all of us. We want to prove everyone wrong and show everyone that whether you want us to do it or not, we're going to do it."

Tags: UCONN, Women's Basketball, Carl Adamec
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Gianna Bryant might have been only 13 years old and just getting started on her basketball journey, but she left a lasting impact upon leaving the world so soon.

The 13-year-old Gianna and her father Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a southern California helicopter crash that killed nine people. Kobe, the 18-time All-Star and five-time NBA champion while starring for the Lakers for 20 years from 1996-16, was reportedly heading to the Mamba Sports Academy in nearby Thousand oaks with his daughter and others when the flight crashed in Calabasas. He was 41.

Among nine lives lost from the tragedy, both Bryants had so much more left to give. One day later Monday at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, players from the U.S. National Team remembered Kobe and Gianna after an exhibition against UConn.

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A women's basketball game took place Monday evening at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, but the tragic deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant were heavy on everyone's minds during the exhibition between UConn and the U.S. National Team.

The 41-year-old Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter died suddenly Sunday in a southern California helicopter crash that killed nine people. The flight from Calabasas to nearby Thousand Oaks, where the Bryant-owned Mamba Sports Academy resides, served as transportation for a travel basketball game, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday.

After a pregame tribute observed a 24-second moment of silence for Kobe, with a courtside seat wearing a gray No. 2 UConn jersey and white flowers honoring Gianna, Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma tried to find the words. Kobe and Gianna attended UConn games when possible, and Auriemma elected to share a story of the first time the two arrived on campus.

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Jan 27, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; The center monitor stands out in honor of former NBA star Kobe Bryant before the start of the game against the UConn Huskies and 2020 USA Womens National Basketball Team at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 27, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; The center monitor stands out in honor of former NBA star Kobe Bryant before the start of the game against the UConn Huskies and 2020 USA Womens National Basketball Team at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

With heavy hearts, the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, paused prior to Monday's 7 p.m. women's basketball game between UConn and the U.S. National Team and remembered two lives taken far too soon.

Los Angeles County authorities confirmed Sunday that Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a southern California helicopter crash killing nine people. The flight from Calabasas to nearby Thousand Oaks, where the Bryant-owned Mamba Sports Academy resides, served as transportation for a travel basketball game, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday.

As the sports world continued to grieve Monday, the Huskies did the same. During a moment of silence -- 24 seconds, for the number Kobe wore from 2006-16 in the second half of his 20-year NBA career (1996-16) with Los Angeles -- the public address announcer at the XL Center shared the following message.

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Many in the sports world and beyond have a collective heavy heart following the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, on Sunday -- a duo who shared a strong bond when it came to basketball. 

That love for the game took Kobe and Gianna to Storrs, Conn. last year to watch a regular season game between UConn and Houston. SNY's Justine Ward caught up with them in the second quarter of the contest, and Kobe gushed about Gianna's love for the program -- one she hoped to be a part of someday.  

"I think the players, first and foremost. The camaraderie that they have with each other is something she kind of gravitated to," Kobe said when asked what Gianna loved about the Huskies. "And then Geno (Auriemma) and (Chris Dailey) and their leadership and the culture of the program, all the way on down to Rebecca (Lobo) and Diana (Taurasi) and Sue (Bird), so she loves the program."

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Yale got the lead in the third period and wouldn't let it up, as UConn fell to the Bulldogs, 3-2, in the Connecticut Ice consolation game on Sunday at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. 

Things to know from Sunday's game

1) A tip of the cap must be given to Yale G Corbin Kaczperski, who collected 42 saves over three period to help the Bulldogs. UConn outshot Yale 44-24, but it was Kaczperski's tenacious goaltending that kept the game from getting out of hand. He earned the first star in the game with his .955 save percentage.

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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

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Martins Igbanu scored a career-high 28 points and Tulsa held off UConn 79-75 in overtime Sunday to pick up its fifth straight win.

Darien Jackson and Brandon Rachal each added 14 points for the Golden Hurricane (14-7, 6-1 American), who were picked to finish 10th in the American Athletic Conference but are currently in first place.

Freshman James Bouknight had 16 points for the Huskies (10-9, 1-5) who have lost four straight and six of seven.

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The Huskies dominated the ECU Pirates 98-42 on Saturday afternoon.

Christyn Williams scored 26 points, while freshman Anna Makurat added 24 points of her own.

After the game, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma explained that he was very pleased with the way his team played in the lopsided win.

"I thought there for long stretches we did a great job of moving the ball," Auriemma said. "We didn't waste a lot of dribbles and we didn't hesitate. I think sometimes our team gets a little bit tentative. After that first quarter, I thought we got into a really good rhythm and everybody that touched it did something good with it, so I was really happy with the way we played today."

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In the first semi-final game of the inaugural Connecticut Ice, the Quinnipiac Bobcats squeaked out a 3-2 win against the UConn Huskies, but despite the result, both head coaches were jubilant that the festival's first game was so successful.

"I'm excited we started this tournament," Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. "Tim Taylor (Yale's longtime former head coach) and I talked about this 15, 16 years ago. We were all talking about it, it just never happened - and it happened. Excited to have it come to fruition. Just looking in the room here, this is like the Frozen Four with the kind of media attention we have here."

Quinnipiac and UConn fans filled Webster Bank Arena and turned a non-conference matchup into a playoff-like atmosphere.

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The Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated the UConn Huskies 3-2 on Saturday to advance to Sunday's Connecticut Ice final.

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) The first period featured a flurry of goals. The Huskies struck first as Ruslan Iskhakov notched his seventh goal of the year. But just 18 seconds later, Karlis Cukste put the Bobcats on the board for the first time to tie things up 1-1.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) Christyn Williams scored 26 points, Megan Walker had 15 points and 12 rebounds and No. 3 UConn pulled away after the first quarter for a 98-42 victory at East Carolina on Saturday.

The Huskies went 15 of 25 from 3-point range, including 8 of 10 by freshman Anna Makurat, who finished with 24 points.

UConn (18-1, 8-0) improved its record in American Athletic Conference regular-season and postseason games to 128-0. ECU (3-16, 0-6) lost its 12th straight game and dropped to 5-100 all-time versus ranked opponents.

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HOUSTON -- DeJon Jarreau had 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, Caleb Mills scored 20 points and No. 25 Houston beat UConn 63-59 on Thursday night.

Jarreau and Mills combined for the final 17 points, including 12 free throws, as Houston overcame a six-point deficit in the final 5:15.

Houston (15-4, 5-1 American Athletic Conference) won its third straight despite shooting 36% from the floor. Houston was 25 of 34 from the free throw line in a foul-filled game.

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Jan 23, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) shoots against Tennessee Lady Vols guard Jordan Horston (25) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) shoots against Tennessee Lady Vols guard Jordan Horston (25) in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Crystal Dangerfield scored 14 points and No. 3 UConn used a dominant third quarter to beat 23rd-ranked Tennessee 60-45 on Thursday night - the first matchup in 13 years between the teams whose rivalry dominated the sport for over a decade.

Trailing by three at the half, the Huskies (17-1) scored 17 of the first 19 points in the third quarter, taking a 45-33 lead on Dangerfield's 3-pointer with 1:45 left in the period. UConn led by 11 after three and Tennessee could get no closer in the fourth quarter.

Rennia Davis scored 16 points to lead the Lady Vols (15-4).

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UConn crushed Tulsa 92-34 on Sunday afternoon, as freshman guard Anna Makurat had 21 points off the bench.

After the win, head coach Geno Auriemma said he wasn't surprised with Makurat's performance.

"I'm not surprised that Anna had a game like today because these last three or four games, she's looked really really good," Auriemma said. "She's getting more comfortable every day, she's finding spots on the floor where she can be successful and she feels better shooting the ball. She's getting better defensively. I'm not surprised, she just needed to see the ball go in a lot, and that's what happened."

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 24 points and No. 4 UConn routed Tulsa 92-34 on Sunday to extend its American Athletic Conference winning streak to 127 games.

Freshman Anna Makurat added a season-high 21 points and Crystal Dangerfield scored 16 for the Huskies (16-1, 7-0), who have won all 109 regular-season conference games and all six AAC tournaments since leaving the Big East for the American.

Christyn Williams and Aubrey Griffin each had 11 points.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jermaine Samuels scored 19 points and made the decisive three-point play that put No. 14 Villanova ahead for good in a 61-55 win over Connecticut on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Samuels converted a three-point play with 2:51 left for a 52-51 lead and then buried a 3 with 31 seconds remaining for a four-point lead that clinched another tight one for the Wildcats (14-3).

The Huskies (10-7) kept it close against their pending Big East rival and attacked the paint with authority to offset a miserable effort from 3-point range (2 of 15). Christian Vital fought through the lane and tossed in a layup that brought the Huskies within two with 24 seconds left. But a full-court press on Villanova came up empty and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl sank two free throws to secure the Wildcats' 10th win in 11 games.

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UConn improved to 6-0 in the American Athletic and 15-1 overall after their 59-52 win over UCF on Thursday night.

Sophomore forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa had nine points and 12 rebounds in the win. Afterwards, she knew what the team has to improve on going forward.

"Personally, just finishing better inside, posting up stronger, working on that," Nelson-Ododa said. "As a team, we can take from this, we have to continue to be the aggressor. We get everybody's best game, and that's evident the past couple games, and so we just have to learn to work through that."

 

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Megan Walker scored 19 points and Crystal Dangerfield sparked a big first-half rally, leading No. 4 Connecticut to a 59-52 win over Central Florida on Thursday night.

It was only the second single-digit win for the Huskies (15-1, 6-0 American Athletic) , who are 126-0 in conference games, including tournaments.

Dangerfield finished with 13 points, five assists and three steals, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa had nine points and 12 rebounds.

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UConn defeated Memphis, 68-56, in a tough road matchup on Tuesday, and while the Huskies played a strong game defensively, holding the Tigers to just 33.3 percent shooting, they struggled to move the ball on offense.

After the game, head coach Geno Auriemma was not pleased with his team's offensive effort.

"We started getting some stops down the other end," Auriemma said. "I think they scored (23 points) in the second half, so our defense was a lot better in the second half. Our offense was terrible the whole game but we made a couple of really big shots when we had to.

"I can't explain it, we just had no, absolutely zero any kind of continuity on offense, so we grinded it out. We got a win that the way we shot it and the way they were playing, it just as easily could have been a loss, so I'll take it and get out of here."

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Crystal Dangerfield scored 24 and fourth-ranked UConn used a late run to pull away from Memphis in a 68-56 on Tuesday night.

The Huskies (14-1, 5-0 American Athletic Conference) escaped in the final quarter to remain undefeated in league play.. They have not lost a conference game since joining AAC in the 2013-14 season and are 11-0 all-time against Memphis.

Megan Walker added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies and Christyn Williams scored 16 points.

Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu led the Tigers (9-8, 0-4) with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Madison Griggs scored 12.

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Jan 12, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) reacts after a play against the Wichita State Shockers in double overtime at XL Center. Wichita State defeated UConn in double overtime 89-86. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Jan 12, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) reacts after a play against the Wichita State Shockers in double overtime at XL Center. Wichita State defeated UConn in double overtime 89-86. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Wichita State gave up a nine-point point lead in just over a minute at the end of regulation and had two key players foul out during two overtimes.

But the Shockers found a way to get their ninth consecutive win, and eighth straight on the road dating to last season, as they held off UConn 89-86 on Sunday.

"I thought we were tremendously tough and ratty, pursuing balls and getting stops," coach Gregg Marshall said. "Both teams just fought like crazy and left it all out there."

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Tyler Polley
Tyler Polley

The UConn men's basketball team has lost F Tyler Polley for the rest of the season, as the university said he tore his ACL and meniscus in his left knee during practice on Friday. 

A starter for the Huskies, Polley was coming off his best game of the season against Tulane, where he totaled a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-15 shooting.

Overall, Polley is averaging 9.5 points and 3.2 rebounds this season, while shooting 42 percent from the field. 

Alterique Gilbert will likely take over for Polley in the starting rotation when they take on No. 23 Wichita State on Sunday at 12 p.m.

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The UConn Huskies are hoping to have a Hockey East playoff spot, but this season's second half will give them a new beginning for a push behind their young talent.

In 2012, UConn announced it would be moving from Atlantic Hockey to Hockey East beginning in the 2014-15 season. UConn started its new era with a new coach, Mike Cavanaugh. Since the move, UConn has yet to win a conference playoff game, with its best season under Cavanaugh coming in 2017-18 when it tied for fifth in the conference.

UConn showed promise last year when it knocked off No. 2 UMass in the season finale, and that was the highest-ranked opponent UConn has defeated.

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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma received some criticism from the media and online after he called a few of his players "dummies" coming off the Huskies' loss to Baylor on Thursday, which ended their 98 game home win streak.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 22 points and Christyn Williams had 21 as top-ranked UConn responded to its first loss of the season with a 91-51 rout of Houston on Saturday.

Crystal Dangerfield (17 points) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (13) also hit double figures for the Huskies (13-1, 4-0 American), who have gone 975 games over 27 years without losing twice in a row.

Dorian Branch scored 13 points to lead Houston (8-9, 1-2), which has lost three of its last four games.

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Feb 24, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Former Connecticut Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun along with his Huskies 1999 NCAA Championship team (not pictured) were honored on the court during halftime between the Huskies and the Cincinnati Bearcats at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Feb 24, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Former Connecticut Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun along with his Huskies 1999 NCAA Championship team (not pictured) were honored on the court during halftime between the Huskies and the Cincinnati Bearcats at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Jim Calhoun left coaching in 2012 after a legendary career that saw him win 873 career games between UConn and Northeastern. 

But he returned to the coaching ranks in 2018 at a much lower-profile program, D-III University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, Conn. 

On Friday, his Blue Jays defeated Pratt Institute by a score of 105-61, giving Calhoun his 900th NCAA win. He joins Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Bob Knight as the only coaches to coach at least 10 seasons in Division I and reach 900 victories.

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In a battle of two top-10 teams, UConn and Baylor went back and forth for most of the night on Thursday, but the Lady Bears eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter, handing UConn their first home loss since March 2013.

Following the 74-58 loss, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma explained that the first four minutes of the final quarter really made the difference in the game. 

"I was telling them that I thought for about 30 minutes, I thought we battled pretty good," Auriemma said. "Our offense was good, we were getting good shots, we weren't making a bunch of them, but we were putting enough pressure on them.

"And then in that fourth quarter, those first five minutes we got a bunch of stops, we got a bunch of stops, we got a bunch of stops, but then we came down and we didn't get anything to go. We couldn't get a shot to drop. I think those five minutes kind of demoralized our team." 

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SNY's Jeane Coakley and Meghan Culmo discussed UConn's first home loss since 2013, after the Huskies fell to Baylor 74-58.

"UConn stayed with Baylor for three quarters," Culmo said. "And then, you can't go for five minutes without scoring. You can't score six points in the fourth quarter, 24 points in the second half alone, and expect to win."

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Tea Cooper scored 27 points and No. 6 Baylor used a dominant fourth quarter to beat top-ranked UConn 74-58 on Thursday night, ending the Huskies' 98-game home winning streak.

UConn fell one victory short of tying its own NCAA record of 99 in a row at home. The Huskies previous loss at home came in the Big East final against Notre Dame on March 12, 2013.

Baylor (12-1) led by three going into the fourth quarter and neither team could get much going on offense in the first few minutes of the final period. The Huskies cut the deficit to one on Christyn Williams' jumper with 6:36 left. Then the defending national champions took over.

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) Tyler Polley had 19 points and a career high 11 rebounds to lead UConn to a 67-61 win over Tulane Wednesday night, giving the Huskies their first conference win this season.

Christian Vital (14 points), Alterique Gilbert (11) and Josh Carlton (10), also reached double figures for the Huskies (10-5, 1-2 American), who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Connecticut dominated underneath, outrebounding Tulane 46-29 and scoring 19 second-chance points.

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We're getting to know players from UConn, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Yale ahead of SNY's Connecticut Ice tournament on Jan. 25-26.


Name: Adam Karashik

School: UConn

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UConn improved to 12-0 on the season after beating SMU 80-42 on Sunday afternoon.

Senior Kyla Irwin has started the past seven games for the Huskies, and scored a career-high 14 points and added in seven assists in the win. Afterwards, head coach Geno Auriemma was proud of the way Irwin has played.

"Kyla spent the first few years at Connecticut trying to be somebody else and prove that she belonged there, and that just kept backfiring on her," Auriemma said. "Now she's finally realized `I'm just going to do what I do well and stick with that.' "

 

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DALLAS (AP) Christyn Williams scored 21 points and Megan Walker added 15 as top-ranked UConn eased past SMU 80-42 on Sunday to remain undefeated heading into Thursday's showdown against No. 6 Baylor.

The Huskies (12-0, 3-0 American) never trailed and led by as many as 40 points.

SMU (6-7, 0-1) faced its first ranked opponent this season.

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Laquincy Rideau had 17 points and six assists, David Collins scored 15 points, and South Florida beat UConn 75-60 on Saturday.

The Bulls (8-7, 1-1 American) also got 12 points and nine rebounds from Michael Durr.

 

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UConn led Wichita State by 19 points at the half on Thursday night, and though they held on to win 83-55, the Shockers were able to cut the Huskies' lead to just 10 points in the third quarter.

The Huskies closed the game on a 20-2 run, but head coach Geno Auriemma, who returned to the bench following a brief hospitalization for a minor medical procedure, knows his team has plenty to work on moving forward. 

"Yeah, a lot of struggles in the second half. I should have stayed in the hospital and let (assistant Chris Dailey) coach," Auriemma said. "They were better when she was coaching. Maybe some of it was the layoff, maybe some of it was you get a big lead and you get a little bit complacent, but that whole third quarter and most of the second half actually was not exactly the way I would want to play basketball.

"We've got to build back up to where we were. We did a lot of really good things the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, and we'll take it and build on that."

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Crystal Dangerfield scored 22 points and Megan Walker added 21 to lead top-ranked UConn to an 83-55 win over Wichita State Thursday night, giving the Huskies their 122nd win without a loss in American Athletic Conference play.

Christyn Williams had 19 points for the Huskies (11-0, 2-0 American), who have won all 104 regular-season games since the conference was formed and all six AAC tournaments.

It took some time for the Huskies to get back into the flow of their offense after a 10-day holiday break.

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

CINCINNATI (AP) Tre Scott scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds to carry Cincinnati to a 67-51 win over UConn in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday night.

Chris Vogt had 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Bearcats, (8-5), who beat UConn for the eighth-straight time. Jarron Cumberland added 15 points.

Cincinnati shot 50% in the first half and held the Huskies to 26% to open a 35-19 lead. UConn made 3 of 9 shots from 3-point range but just 4 of 18 inside the arc for a season-low opening half.

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Led by senior guard Christian Vital's game-high 23 points, the UConn men's basketball team improved to 9-3 on the 2019-20 season with Sunday's 69-47 win over NJIT.

Before the home crowd of 10,507 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, Vital went 8 for 15 from the field -- making 5 of 8 three-point tries -- while grabbings five rebounds and four steals.

After the game, Vital and head coach Dan Hurley put UConn's third straight victory into perspective as the calendar flips to 2020 with Wednesday's 7 p.m. contest at Cincinnati (7-5).

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 23 points and UConn ended the 2019 portion of its season with a 69-47 rout of NJIT.

Vital hit eight of his 15 shots and was 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

Brendan Adams added 12 points for the Huskies (9-3), who have won six of their last seven heading into conference play. Akok Akok chipped in with seven points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

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UConn got a game-high 21 points from Alterique Gilbert in Sunday's 88-62 rout of New Hampshire at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, but the junior guard was quick to deflect the reasons behind the team's dominance.

"I just think my coaches and my teammates put me in great positions to make plays, and shots were falling tonight," Gilbert told SNY's Chris Williamson after the game. "We're just looking to move forward."

Gilbert made 3 of 5 triples to highlight the spike from three-point range for the Huskies (8-3), who burned the Wildcats (6-6) by shooting 45.8 percent behind the arc.

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Mar 11, 2019; Uncasville, CT, USA; UConn Huskies forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa (20) returns up court against the UCF Knights during the second half in the women's American Conference Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena. UConn defeated UCF 66-45. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 11, 2019; Uncasville, CT, USA; UConn Huskies forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa (20) returns up court against the UCF Knights during the second half in the women's American Conference Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena. UConn defeated UCF 66-45. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Chris Dailey remained perfect filling in for Geno Auriemma as head coach as No. 2 UConn stated its case to move up to the top of the poll.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa had 27 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks and the Huskies - without Auriemma - routed Oklahoma 97-53 on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Women's Basketball Showcase.

The 65-year-old Auriemma missed the game after surgery Wednesday to relieve symptoms of diverticulitis, a condition where the colon develops small bulges that can sometimes become infected.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Point guard Alterique Gilbert scored 21 points to lead UConn over the University of New Hampshire 88-62 on Sunday.

Gilbert, who had scored a combined nine points over the previous two games, took over early in the second half with his own 9-0 run to make it 52-37 with 15:57 remaining.

The red-shirt junior shot 6-for-12 from the field, 3-for-5 on 3-pointers and 6 of 6 at the foul line. He finished three points shy of his career high (24), which came against Florida State last season.

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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma (Matt Eisenberg)
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma (Matt Eisenberg)

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma will not coach the team against Oklahoma on Sunday after undergoing a minimally invasive procedure to alleviate symptoms caused by diverticulitis, the school said Thursday in a press release.

According to the team, Auriemma is "in good spirits and is resting comfortably" and will remain at UConn John Dempsey hospital for the next two-to-three days before heading home to continue recuperating.

In Auriemma's absence, associate head coach Chris Dailey will serve as head coach against Oklahoma.

UConn is 9-0 this season, including 1-0 in conference play.

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The UConn Huskies defeated St. Peter's, 66-56, on Tuesday night. Though they had a commanding lead for the majority of the night, head coach Dan Hurley wants to see his team improve their ball security, as the Huskies turned the ball over 26 times.

"A lot of work to do with our ball security right now," Hurley said, "The last two games, it's been a really poor reflection of my ability to get my team to be strong with the ball and make good decisions."

Hurley did praise his group's defense, though, as the Huskies held the Peacocks to just 38.6 percent shooting from the floor.

"Defensively, we were really good for the most part, and we have to be a top-30, top-35 team to have a surprisingly good season because offensively we've got a ways to go down on that end of the court," said Hurley.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Tyler Polley paced a balanced UConn offense with 12 points in a 66-56 victory over Saint Peter's on Wednesday.
Nine of the 10 Huskies who played finished with at least a basket. 

Freshman Jalen Gaffney added 10 points and five assists, while Akok Akok had seven points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
Polley was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers and UConn (7-3) shot 41.2 percent (7-for-17) from the perimeter.

Aaron Estrada had 12 points and Daryl Banks III scored 10 to lead the Peacocks (2-5), who shot 62.5 percent (5-for-8) on 3s. 

The two teams combined for 51 turnovers, with UConn scoring 22 points on 25 mistakes by Saint Peter's. The Peacocks scored 19 points on UConn's season-high 26.

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Jan 31, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) shoots against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)
Jan 31, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Megan Walker (3) shoots against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports (Jamie Rhodes)

CHICAGO (AP) - Megan Walker had 22 points and 13 rebounds, Crystal Dangerfield also scored 22 and No. 2 UConn held off No. 16 DePaul 84-74 on Monday night.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 19 points for the Huskies (9-0), who dominated in the first half and won their 17th straight over the Blue Demons (10-2), whose seven-game winning streak ended. Connecticut led 55-29 at the half before DePaul began a furious comeback.

Chante Stonewall led DePaul with 21 points. Sonya Morris had 20 points, Dee Bekelja has 12 and Lexi Held added 11 for the Blue Demons, whose other loss was to No. 4 Oregon State on Nov. 14.

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Dec 10, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Joey Brunk (50) puts up a shot against Connecticut Huskies forward Akok Akok (23) in the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Dec 10, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Joey Brunk (50) puts up a shot against Connecticut Huskies forward Akok Akok (23) in the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

NEW YORK (AP) Indiana failed to have a double-digit scorer and still rebounded from its first loss of the season to beat UConn 57-54 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The Hoosiers (9-1) won their first eight games under coach Archie Miller and were on the brink of cracking the Top 25 until a 20-point loss at Wisconsin earned them only a few votes.

Beating a so-so UConn team may not earn IU any style points but it gutted out a win down the stretch in front of a wild Huskies crowd. UConn gave the Garden an old Big East feel in the Jimmy V Classic.

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Apr 5, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; UConn Huskies guard Megan Walker (3) controls the ball as Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Jessica Shepard (32) defends during the first half in the semifinals of the women's Final Four of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; UConn Huskies guard Megan Walker (3) controls the ball as Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Jessica Shepard (32) defends during the first half in the semifinals of the women's Final Four of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Megan Walker scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds Sunday to lead No. 4 UConn to an 81-57 rout of rival Notre Dame.

Walker hit 10 of her 18 shots for the Huskies (8-0) .

Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Christyn Williams had 12 points and Crystal Dangerfield, who returned to the Huskies starting lineup after missing two games with back spasms, chipped in with 10.

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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) Megan Walker scored 29 points and Aubrey Griffin added 25 as No. 4 UConn recovered from a slow start to defeat Seton Hall 92-78 on Thursday night.

The Huskies (7-0) trailed 28-19 after a fast-paced first quarter. They bounced back to beat the Pirates (5-4) for the 31st straight time dating to 1995.

UConn also got 12 points from Christyn Williams and 10 from Molly Bent.

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UConn led Iona by just one point at halftime on Wednesday night, but the Huskies dominated in the second half en route to an 80-62 victory over the Gaels.

Forward Josh Carlton led the way for the Huskies, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks.

After the game, Carlton, and UConn head coach Dan Hurley, spoke about the way he was able to play with force.

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