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.

 

Kay Kay Wright, who paced UCF with 18 points, led a second-half rally that got the Golden Knights back in the game.

UCF'S zone gave UConn problems early in the game and caused two shot-clock violations late in the first quarter. UConn shot 35% in the first half and 38.5% for the game.

But Dangerfield's two free throws with 7:24 left in the second quarter started a 16-0 run to finish the half. >> Read More

Copyright 2020 by the Associated Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the entire video above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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After going down with an injury in the opening minute of Sunday's win against Memphis, UConn confirmed on Monday that forward Akok Akok would miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, and on Tuesday, the school announced that he had underwent successful surgery to repair the tendon.

"Akok is resting comfortably and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, is expected to return to campus on Wednesday, where his recovery and rehabilitation will be monitored by the UConn medical and athletic training staff," the school announced.

"Just proud of the way the guys fought and the character they showed," an emotional head coach Dan Hurley said after Sunday's game. "So it was a big win, obviously, but that doesn't feel like there's no joy in it when something like that happens in the first minute. So sports are brutal sometimes. Life is brutal sometimes."

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Feb 16, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley looks in on forward Akok Akok (23) after a play against the Memphis Tigers in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley looks in on forward Akok Akok (23) after a play against the Memphis Tigers in the first half at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn won 64-61 over Memphis on Sunday at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and head coach Dan Hurley acknowledged the gravity of the final result.

But when he tried to sum up his Huskies (14-11, 5-7 AAC) team's three-point victory against the Tigers (17-8, 6-6), Hurley thought back on Akok Akok's devastating injury.

The redshirt freshman forward went down in the first minute of the opening half, blocking a shot at the 19:12 mark and suffering what UConn officials said appeared to be a torn Achilles.

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UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma spoke with SNY's Maria Marino after the No. 5 Huskies defeated USF 67-47 despite a slow start out the gate.

Auriemma got 21 points out of Megan Walker, while Olivia Nelson-Ododa added another 20 of her own to help UConn avoid a big upset and eventually pull away in the second half.

"It's amazing how when you get into something that looks like offense, and you cut when you're supposed to, and screen when you're supposed to, and pass when you're supposed to, and shoot when you're supposed to, you end up winning games," Auriemma said after the final buzzer.

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Feb 16, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his three point basket against the Memphis Tigers in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated Memphis 64-61. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2020; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) reacts after his three point basket against the Memphis Tigers in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated Memphis 64-61. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Christian Vital scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half to lead UConn to a 64-61 win over Memphis on Sunday.

James Bouknight added 17 points for the Huskies (14-11, 5-7 American), who have won three of their last four.

Vital and Bouknight combined to score 29 of the Huskies 39 second half points.

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Megan Walker scored 21 points and Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 20 Sunday to help No. 5 UConn shrug off a slow start to beat South Florida 67-47 and remain unbeaten in the American Athletic Conference.

The Huskies (21-3, 11-0) trailed by four at halftime, took the lead for good early in the third quarter and broke the game open by beginning the fourth quarter with a 15-2 run and holding USF (15-10, 7-4) to one field goal during a nine-minute stretch.

Aubrey Griffin came off the bench to score eight points, grab seven rebounds and key the Huskies defense with five steals.

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DALLAS (AP) Feron Hunt scored a career-high 23 points and was 4-for-4 at the free throw line in the last 16 seconds as SMU held off UConn 79-75 Wednesday night.

Hunt scored double his season average going 8-for-9 from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers and seven rebounds. Kendric Davis added 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting with six assists, Emmanuel Bandoumel scored 13 points with six rebounds and three steals as the Mustangs (17-6, 7-4 American Athletic Conference) shot 55% as a team (28-for-51).

James Bouknight scored 21 points to pace UConn (13-11, 4-7), which trailed by as many as 15 after halftime before rallying to within seven points or fewer for the final six minutes. After Hunt buried a 3 that gave SMU a 59-44 lead, Bouknight scored on a drive to begin an 18-10 rally for the Huskies and he capped it five minutes later with a 3-pointer making the score 69-62.

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Paige Bueckers may be the No. 1 overall recruit in the country, but she's continuing to work hard before officially heading to Storrs, Conn.

From Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minn., the UConn commit isn't getting caught up in the hype.

"I'm not ever satisfied with what I've accomplished or what I've done in the past years," said Bueckers. "I think the thing that motivates me the most is knowing that I'll never be perfect, so I can always reach to be perfect. I haven't reached my full potential. I'm in high school and I still want to keep going in college and, God willing, the pros, and I don't want to get caught up in the hype in high school and I just want to keep pushing."

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Geno Auriemma, like usual, didn't hold back after the UConn women's basketball team lost to South Carolina for the first time in the program's history.

The Gamecocks were simply the better team Monday night.

"We're allowed to lose a goddamn game every once in awhile where the other team plays better than us," Auriemma said. "So how about you write that somewhere? 'South Carolina played way better than Connecticut.' That's allowed to happen every once in awhile."

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Ty Harris scored 19 points, Aliayah Boston dominated underneath and No. 1 South Carolina held UConn to a record-low two points in the opening quarter on the way to a 70-52 win Monday night - its first-ever win over the fifth-ranked Huskies.

The Gamecocks (23-1) came in 0-8 all-time against UConn, seven of those defeats with national championship coach Dawn Staley in charge.

But South Carolina took control immediately with its suffocating defense, limiting the Huskies to 1-of-16 shooting to lead 11-2 at the end of the first period.

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Feb 9, 2020; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) drives the ball against Cincinnati Bearcats guard Keith Williams (2) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2020; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Christian Vital (1) drives the ball against Cincinnati Bearcats guard Keith Williams (2) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

STORRS, Conn. (AP) Freshman James Bouknight scored 23 points, including two key free throws in overtime, as UConn upset Cincinnati 72-71 in the American Athletic Conference on Sunday.

Christian Vital added 19 points for the Huskies (13-10, 4-6 American), who had lost seven games this season by seven points or fewer.

Cincinnati's Jarron Cumberland's jump shot attempt at the buzzer was waved off and he did not get a foul call

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UConn head coach Geno Auriemma has coached more than his fair share of talented players of the years.

But you don't become one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball without learning how to motivate your players to get the best out of them.

Following UConn's big win over Memphis on Friday night, former UConn player and current SNY analyst Kara Wolters recalled a story about how Auriemma called her out for a poor week of practice, and then Auriemma told the exact same story during his post-game press conference.

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STORRS, CONN. (AP) Megan Walker scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead No. 4 UConn to a 94-55 rout of Memphis on Friday night.

Christyn Williams added 20 points and Olivia Nelson-Ododa had 19 points, making all nine of her shots for the Huskies (20-2, 10-0 American), who have won 20 games for the 27th straight year.

Madison Griggs scored 15 points for Memphis (12-11, 3-7), which lost for the first time in three games.

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Jan 1, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) controls the ball against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Jan 1, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) controls the ball against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half at Fifth Third Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) James Bouknight had a season-high 22 points as UConn topped Tulsa 72-56 on Thursday night and knocked the Golden Hurricane out of first place in the American Athletic Conference.

The victory was the first for the Huskies at Tulsa, after losing five previous games there. Tulsa dropped to 11-2 at home and a half-game behind the new conference leader, Cincinnati (8-2).

Alterique Gilbert had 17 points for UConn (12-10, 3-6), which snapped its five-game road losing streak. Christian Vital added 10 points. Isaiah Whaley had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) Ruthy Hebard had 22 points and 12 rebounds and No. 3 Oregon handed fourth-ranked UConn its first loss on campus in seven years, rolling to a 74-56 victory on Monday night.

It was UConn's worst home loss since Dec. 5, 2005, when the Huskies lost to North Carolina by 23 points.

Sabrina Ionescu added 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Ducks (20-2), falling short of increasing her NCAA-record 23 triple-doubles.

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Feb 1, 2020; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) handles the ball against Memphis Tigers forward Precious Achiuwa (55) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 1, 2020; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard James Bouknight (2) handles the ball against Memphis Tigers forward Precious Achiuwa (55) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Precious Achiuwa scored 16 points with eight rebounds, Lester Quinones grabbed eight rebounds and scored 14 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:45 to play, and Memphis held off UConn 70-63 on Saturday.

Quinones' 3 put Memphis up 59-56 and the Tigers pulled ahead by as many as seven after making 9 of 10 free throws in the final 1:14.

Lance Thomas blocked five shots and scored 14 points for the Tigers (16-5, 5-3 American Athletic Conference), who held the Huskies to 34% shooting from the field (22 of 65). Alex Lomax scored 13 points.

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