By Carl Adamec

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 76-70 loss to No. 1 Baylor a week ago did not cost it ground in the Associated Press poll released Monday.

The Huskies remained third in the poll for the eighth straight week behind Baylor and Notre Dame. The defending national champion Bears received all 40 first-place votes for the first time since returning to the top spot on Jan. 7. Notre Dame was second with 957 points followed by UConn's 909 points. Stanford (875 points) and Duke (850 points) rounded out the top five.

The first seven in the Adamec Top 10 remain the same with March, believe it or not, just four days away.

1. Baylor (26-1). Down by 11 in first half and seven in the second, Bears show champion's form in win in Hartford.

2. Notre Dame (25-1). Skylar Diggins records triple-double (17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in 32 minutes of rout at DePaul.

3. UConn (25-2). Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kelly Faris hit 1,000-point plateau in Senior Day blowout of Seton Hall.

4. Stanford (26-2). Chiney Ogwumike has 27 points and school record 24 rebounds in Pac-12 cakewalk over Oregon.

5. Duke (26-1). Have to be impressed with Blue Devils following wins over Florida State and at Maryland in first two games without Chelsea Gray.

6. Penn State (21-3). Lady Lions have share of Big Ten regular season title with two-game lead and two to go.

7. Tennessee (20-5). Lady Vols have share of SEC regular season title in coach Holly Warlick's first season with two-game lead and two to go.

8. California (23-2). Bears need to rally from 17-point deficit at home to beat woeful Oregon State (9-19) by two. Really?

9. Maryland (22-5). Terrapins almost never in it in loss to Duke at College Park.

10. Dayton (24-1). Could this mid-major from the Atlantic-10 make some noise in March?

Tags: UCONN, Women's Basketball, Carl Adamec

Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong waves at the crowd following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard Saniya Chong waves at the crowd following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Raymond Carlin III/USA Today Sports Images)

TULSA, Okla. -- There are so many streaks, it seems, that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team is a part of that it's hard to keep track of them all.

But there's one coach Geno Auriemma takes more seriously than 91 consecutive wins, four straight national championships, nine NCAA Final Four appearances in a row or any other run the Huskies have going. In his 32 years with the Huskies, every athlete who has played four years and completed her eligibility at UConn has received her degree. That's 100 percent, even better than his all-time leading winning percentage.

When Saniya Chong chose to attend UConn early in her senior year at Ossining (New York) High, that statistic played into her decision. It's difficult enough to for any student to graduate college in four years, let alone a student-athlete playing a sport at its highest level. 

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UConn Women's Win Streak 00:03:44
Gary Apple and Kara Wolters discuss the Huskies' current 88 game win streak and if they can break the record of 90 games.

Kara Wolters is one of 10 women's basketball players in history to win a NCAA national championship, a WNBA title and gold medals from the Olympics and FIBA world championships.

And while Knoxville, Tennessee, isn't the former University of Connecticut center's favorite place, her basketball legacy could find a permanent home there.

Wolters is among 12 finalists for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017, it was announced Monday. The Hall's board of directors will vote next week and the six-member class will be announced next month, either on Feb. 12 or 13.

The Women's Hall is located in Knoxville, home to the University of Tennessee. The Class of 2017 will be inducted June 10.

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Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams makes a layup as UCF Knights forward Tolulope Omokore defends at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies forward Gabby Williams makes a layup as UCF Knights forward Tolulope Omokore defends at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports)

TULSA, Okla. -- The University of Connecticut women's basketball team ranks fourth in the American Athletic Conference in rebound margin through 16 games heading into Tuesday night's contest with Tulsa at the Reynolds Center (SNY, 8 p.m.).

But before anyone panics that the top-ranked Huskies' undersized post players -- 6-foot-1 sophomore Napheesa Collier and 5-foot-11 junior Gabby Williams -- aren't getting the job done, take a closer look at the numbers.

UConn (plus-5.2) trails South Florida (plus-12.0), Central Florida (plus-9.8) and SMU (plus-6.5) in rebound margin. But in head-to-head matchups since New Year's Day, the Huskies outrebounded UCF by six, USF by 11 and SMU by seven. They also had the edge in second-chance points against the three league rivals.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma leaves the court following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma leaves the court following the game against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

DALLAS -- From his early days as the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach -- at least as far back to the Huskies' first Big East championship in 1989, Geno Auriemma has believed in destiny.

Perhaps the first sign that UConn was meant to break its own NCAA record for longest winning streak came in the first game of this season at Florida State on Nov. 14. The Huskies trailed the Seminoles by seven in the opening minute of the third quarter, their biggest second-half deficit of the streak. After a Napheesa Collier basket, Gabby Williams took a pass from Saniya Chong at the top of the key and nailed a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game. The two hoops were the start of a 14-2 run that put UConn in front as it survived a final shot by Imani Wright to get out of Tallahassee with a 78-76 victory.

Williams had not made a 3-pointer in her first two seasons at UConn, attempting one. She has misfired on the three she has tried since.

Still, there has to be more.

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Megan Walker has signed with UConn and will be a freshman next season. (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)
Megan Walker has signed with UConn and will be a freshman next season. (Photo courtesy USA Basketball)

Two years ago, Mikayla Coombs was sitting on the sidelines. The 5-foot-8 guard from Buford, Georgia, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the first quarter of the first game of her sophomore season at Wesleyan School and she had season-ending surgery.

On Sunday, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's Class of 2017 was recognized as one of the top players in the country.

Coombs and fellow UConn signee Megan Walker (6-foot-1 wing, Chesterfield, Virginia) will be teammates on the East squad at the 2017 McDonald's All-American Game to be played March 29 at the United Center in Chicago.

Twenty-four players were selected for the 16th annual girls game. UConn Class of 2017 signees Lexi Gordon and Andra Espinoza-Hunter were nominated to take part.

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Jan 14, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and center Natalie Butler (51) clap on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. Connecticut won 88-48, for their 91st consecutive victory an NCAA record. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 14, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma and guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33) and center Natalie Butler (51) clap on the bench during the second half against the SMU Mustangs at Moody Coliseum. Connecticut won 88-48, for their 91st consecutive victory an NCAA record. (Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports)

DALLAS -- It was a year ago this weekend that recruits Lexi Gordon and Christyn Williams made their way to Storrs to watch the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in action.

Gordon (who signed with UConn in November) and Williams (one of the top players in the Class of 2018) were together again at Moody Coliseum Saturday as the top-ranked Huskies won their NCAA-record 91st consecutive game by defeating SMU 88-48 in American Athletic Conference play.

The Huskies lost All-Americans Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck to graduation. On Saturday, their version of a Big Three -- Katie Lou SamuelsonNapheesa Collier and Gabby Williams -- came up big as they combined for 66 points, 32 rebounds, 11 assists, nine blocked shots and eight steals. It's a different team, but. ...

"As far as the way they play team ball, there is no difference," Christyn Williams said. "They play to win. Coach A [Geno Auriemma] is an amazing coach and they play the way that he wants them to."

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Geno on recruiting process 00:07:27
Geno Auriemma talks about the type of players he looks for to be UConn Huskies while going through the recruiting process.

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UConn Trivia Question 00:00:30
Question: Against which team did UConn have their largest deficit during this 90-game win streak?

Question: Against which team did UConn have their largest deficit during this 90-game win streak?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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UConn dominates in historic win 00:02:13
Katie Lou Samuelson scored a game-high 28 points as the Huskies beat SMU for their 91st consecutive victory.

DALLAS -- What the University of Connecticut women's basketball team does if it earns the opportunity to return to this city and the American Airlines Center for the NCAA Final Four in a bit over two months will determine what it's best remembered for.

But the Huskies have their piece of history that cannot be taken away.

Katie Lou Samuelson had 28 points while Gabby Williams (19 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, five steals) and Napheesa Collier (19 points, 16 rebounds, six blocked shots) recorded double-doubles Saturday as the top-ranked Huskies won their NCAA record 91st straight game with an 88-48 American Athletic Conference victory over SMU before 3,878 at Moody Coliseum.

"It's a cool accomplishment but there's a lot more we want to do this season," Samuelson said. "I'm sure we'll look back at it more later than right now. Maybe at the end of the year, a couple of years ..

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Geno reflects on historic win 00:06:06
Geno Auriemma reflects on his team's journey to 91 consecutive wins, which broke his own school and NCAA record.

Chong, Nurse on 91 wins in a row 00:04:10
Saniya Chong, Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams speak on what it's like to win 91 consecutive games and set an NCAA record.

UConn dominates in historic win 00:02:13
Katie Lou Samuelson scored a game-high 28 points as the Huskies beat SMU for their 91st consecutive victory.

The UConn women routed SMU Saturday to win their 91st game in a row, breaking a record the Huskies set in 2010.

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UConn's Vance Jackson looks to shoots as Georgetown's Rodney Pryor (23) and Marcus Derrickson defend. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)
UConn's Vance Jackson looks to shoots as Georgetown's Rodney Pryor (23) and Marcus Derrickson defend. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

WASHINGTON -- L.J. Peak scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half and Georgetown overcame a 14-point deficit for a 72-69 win over former Big East rival Connecticut on Saturday.

Jesse Govan had 15 points and Rodney Pryor 14 for the Hoyas (10-8). Trailing 59-58, Georgetown scored the next seven points with Pryor's layup putting the Hoyas up 65-59 with 3:29 remaining. The Huskies missed two potential game-tying 3-pointers over the final 14 seconds.

Jalen Adams scored 22 points for the Huskies (7-10), who led 43-29 early in the second half. Adams scored 17 in the second half, but missed a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. Connecticut had won two straight.

 

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GEICO SportsNite: Huskies record 00:03:54
Geno Auriemma and his players reflect on their monumental winning streak, the night before they go for the all-time record.

DALLAS -- Eighteen players have taken the floor for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team during its current 90-game winning streak.

Only two -- juniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams -- have played in all 90 games.

Nurse and Williams were part of the Huskies' historic run to an unprecedented four consecutive national championships. Now they -- along with seniors Saniya Chong and Tierney Lawlor -- are going for a piece of history they can own.

Top-ranked UConn will go for a NCAA-record 91st consecutive win Saturday when it takes on SMU in an American Athletic Conference game at Moody Coliseum (SNY, 3 p.m.).

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Jan 10, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; The Connecticut Huskies bench react after a basket against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated South Florida 102-37. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 10, 2017; Hartford, CT, USA; The Connecticut Huskies bench react after a basket against the South Florida Bulls in the second half at XL Center. UConn defeated South Florida 102-37. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

The UConn Huskies will go for their 91st consecutive win on Saturday when they take on the SMU Mustangs, with coverage on SNY beginning at 2:30 p.m.. 

There have been many contributors to this most-recent win streak, so here's a closer look at some of the statistics from the 90 wins. 

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Guess the longest streaks... 00:02:01
Can you guess the longest winning streaks in sports?

The UConn Women's Basketball team will look to break their own 90-game winning streak on Saturday against SMU, with coverage beginning on SNY at 2:30 p.m.!

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the bench during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the bench during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes)

It was an easy call for Geno Auriemma last spring when Travis Mays asked for support in his bid to become the head women's basketball coach at SMU.

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The Connecticut Huskies celebrate their 90th win as they took on the South Florida Bulls at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
The Connecticut Huskies celebrate their 90th win as they took on the South Florida Bulls at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma usually hates the comparisons that come up between his University of Connecticut women's basketball team and UCLA's legendary men's teams of the 1960s and 1970s.

Mention that Auriemma's Huskies have topped the Bruins' 88-game winning streak not once but twice? Say how Auriemma has won more national championships (11) than John Wooden? Just don't go there.

But maybe there's a UCLA comparison that Auriemma buys into.

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Guess the longest streaks... 00:02:01
Can you guess the longest winning streaks in sports?

HARTFORD, Conn. -- After winning the 2015 national championship game, Breanna Stewart said the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's loss to Stanford four months earlier was the best thing that happened to it.

The Cardinal's 88-86 overtime victory at Maples Pavilion on Nov. 17, 2014, ended a Huskies' 47-game winning streak. UConn has not lost since, matching its own NCAA mark with 90 straight wins with Tuesday night's 102-37 rout of American Athletic Conference foe South Florida.

The Huskies will look to establish a new record with win No. 91 Saturday when they take on SMU at Moody Coliseum in Dallas (SNY, 3 p.m.).

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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams blocks then shot of South Florida Bulls guard Laia Flores in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams blocks then shot of South Florida Bulls guard Laia Flores in the first half at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Gabby Williams has a sore hamstring and two surgical scars on her knee.

So if the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior forward had decided to pull up and not crash into the South Florida bench saving the ball in the third quarter of Tuesday's game, no one would have faulted her. It also would not have mattered in the outcome as the Huskies already owned a 56-point lead.

But in her first two years, Williams had watched her elders, including All-Americans Breanna StewartMoriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck, make those kind of plays, and the Sparks, Nevada, native wants her younger teammates to be ready to do the same things when necessary.

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Connecticut's Kentan Facey, left, drives around Temple's Obi Enechionyia, right, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Storrs, Conn. (Jessica Hill/AP)
Connecticut's Kentan Facey, left, drives around Temple's Obi Enechionyia, right, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Storrs, Conn. (Jessica Hill/AP)

Kentan Facey scored a career-high 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead UConn to its second straight conference win, 73-59 over Temple on Wednesday night.

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 (Shanna Lockwood)
(Shanna Lockwood)

UConn has hired Rhett Lashlee to be the team's offensive coordinator, joining the team's new staff under head coach Randy Edsall, the school announced Wednesday evening. 

Lashlee leaves Auburn, where he spent the last four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He will have the positions with the Huskies after signing a three-year, $350,000 contract. 

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 (David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE)
(David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Tiffany Hayes had no doubts that the NCAA record 90-game winning streak that she was a part of during her career with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team would be broken.

The 2012 UConn graduate and guard for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream also had the perfect candidate to do it -- her alma mater.

"I did think someone would break it, and when I did I thought about keeping it in the family," Hayes said after watching the Huskies beat Central Florida at CFE Arena in Orlando on New Year's Day. "That is what's happening so I'm really happy about it. We took a lot of pride when we set the record and I hope this team is taking pride in what they're doing. What they're doing is great. And if they are going to do this, do it right."

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The Connecticut Huskies celebrate their ninetieth win as they took on the South Florida Bulls at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)
The Connecticut Huskies celebrate their ninetieth win as they took on the South Florida Bulls at XL Center. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma felt helpless. But the University of Connecticut women's basketball coach felt compelled to be helpful.

Shamoya McKenzie, a 13-year-old eighth grader, was a member of the Mount Vernon (New York) junior varsity girls basketball team with a dream of playing for UConn. While a passenger in a car on New Year's Eve, she was the unintentional target of a drive-by shooting and died after being struck in the head.

"I saw the writeup and the history of who she was and what she wanted to do with her life," Auriemma said Tuesday night following the Huskies' 102-37 win over South Florida at the XL Center. "I pretty much was driving down the road and I called Chris Dailey and I said, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And we did it. That's that."

Auriemma wrote a letter, and another letter honored McKenzie as an honorary member of the UConn team that included, "Once a Husky, Always a Husky." They also sent a No. 30 jersey, which was McKenzie's number.

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UConn on 90-game win streak 00:01:30
Gabby Williams and Kia Nurse reflect on the Huskies' 90th consecutive win following the 102-37 victory over the UCF Knights.

Auriemma talks 90th straight win 00:05:57
Geno Auriemma discusses his team as the UConn Huskies beat the USF Knights, 102-37, for their record-tying 90th straight win.

Saniya Chong had scored 20 points in a game once in her career with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team before Tuesday night.

It came in the Huskies' only loss during her time in Storrs on Nov. 17, 2014, at Stanford.

The senior guard made sure her new career night was one she'll never forget and one the program will always remember.

Chong matched her highs of 20 points and eight assists Tuesday night as top-ranked UConn tied its own NCAA record with its 90th straight win, blasting No. 20 South Florida 102-37 in American Athletic Conference action before a crowd of 10,109 at the XL Center.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma huddles with top players guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier during a timeout in their game against the UCF Knights at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma huddles with top players guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson and forward Napheesa Collier during a timeout in their game against the UCF Knights at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears/USA Today Sports Images)

STORRS, Conn. -- It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime things that the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has the chance to do twice in less than a decade.

The top-ranked Huskies will try to match their own NCAA record 90-game winning streak Tuesday night when they host No. 20 South Florida in an American Athletic Conference contest at the XL Center in Hartford.

"It would be cool just to say that we did it, and it will be talked about for however long," UConn forward Gabby Williams said after practice Monday at the Werth Champions Center. "People still talk about UCLA's streak and about the UConn team before us that did it. It's cool just because our names are going to be remembered."

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the bench during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the bench during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes)

SNY will have full post game coverage of Tuesday's UConn/USF game as the Huskies aim to tie their NCAA record of 90 straight wins.

CBS Sports Network will air the game but as soon as it ends flip over to SNY for all of the post game reaction.

Saturday's potential record breaking game against SMU will air on SNY with coverage beginning at 2:30PM.


UConn's Jalen Adams (2) passes the ball against the UCF Knights in the first half. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
UConn's Jalen Adams (2) passes the ball against the UCF Knights in the first half. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

UConn ended its longest season-opening conference losing streak since 1984-85 Sunday, defeting Central Florida 64-49 Sunday in Hartford.

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 (David Butler II )
(David Butler II )

HARTFORD, Connecticut -- In winning 136 of its last 137 games, the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has charged onto the floor at the final buzzer four times.

It happened shortly before the Huskies cut down the nets at New Orleans Arena in 2013, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville in 2014, at Amalie Arena in Tampa in 2015 and at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis last April.

Being a victory away from matching its own NCAA record 90-game winning streak doesn't do much for UConn. After wrapping up a 90-45 rout of East Carolina in American Athletic Conference play Wednesday, the top-ranked Huskies jogged to their locker room at the XL Center with their mission accomplished, much like most other nights.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn loses 00:00:54
The UConn Huskies fell to the Memphis Tigers, 70-61, in conference play.

UConn committed 15 turnovers to Memphis' four as the Tigers defeated the Huskies 70-61 Thursday in Memphis.

UConn (5-9, 0-3) has lost four in a row since Jim Calhoun's first season as coach in 1986-87 and is 0-3 in conference play for the first time since 1984-85.

 

 

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the bench during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the bench during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- On the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, Geno Auriemma visited "Krzyzewskiville" near Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium. His University of Connecticut women's basketball team had just wrapped up its shootaround, the final preparation for that night's game with No. 1 the Blue Devils and Duke's "Cameron Crazies" were already ready to go.

"I did say to a kid at the tent, 'You guys got to be nuts,' " Auriemma said. "He goes, 'We're smarter than you.' I said, 'How smart are you? You're living in a tent to go to a basketball game.' He goes, 'That's a $40,000 tent you're talking about.' "

Auriemma also jokingly questioned the quality of a Duke education as he said there were just as many Duke graduates as UConn graduates working as waiters only they worked at better restaurants. Fourteen years later, Louisville may have proved it wasn't so much of a joke.

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UConn All Access: #1 Rank 00:06:14
Take a look behind the scenes as the UConn Huskies start off 8-0 and once again become the No. 1 ranked team in the country.

Go behind the scenes with the UConn Women's Basketball team...

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Culmo's Courtvision: Collier 00:01:01
Culmo's Courtvision: Napheesa Collier presented by Yale New Haven Health.

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Trivia Question of the Game 00:00:26
Find out the answer to the Huskies Trivia Question presented by Mercedes Benz: How many calendar years have the Huskies been undefeated?

Question: How many times have the Huskies finished a calendar year undefeated?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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UConn Women's Win Streak 00:03:44
Gary Apple and Kara Wolters discuss the Huskies' current 88 game win streak and if they can break the record of 90 games.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The loss to Stanford at Maples Pavilion was 779 days ago, but Wednesday night Kia Nurse recalled the feeling in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's locker room like it was yesterday.

"Losing is a terrible feeling so you always remember it," Nurse said. "For me, personally, there were a lot of things I wanted to be better at. Everybody came out and said that and said there were things they needed to be better at. It was a wake-up call that it wasn't enough to put on the UConn jersey. You had to go out and perform and execute at a high level and do what's expected."

Nurse has started 88 of the Huskies' 89 games since, taking a reserve role for Senior Day 2015. UConn has not lost since.

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Geno Auriemma mic'd up 00:01:22
Watch the premiere of Huskies All Access on Wednesday night at 9:30 PM on SNY.

Watch the premiere of Huskies All Access on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 9:30 p.m. on SNY.


Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse attempts a jump shot in front of Maryland Terrapins guard Kristen Confroy at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse attempts a jump shot in front of Maryland Terrapins guard Kristen Confroy at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Kia Nurse's resume spoke for itself.

A two-time national champion. The 2015 Freshman of the Year. A 2016 all-league pick of the American Athletic Conference. A 2016 Olympian with Team Canada. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior guard was the choice of AAC coaches as the league's preseason Player of the Year in October.

But in the opening two months of the regular season, Nurse has seen three Huskies selected as the AAC Player of the Week and she is not one of them. Sophomores Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier have been recognized twice apiece while junior Gabby Williams earned the first Player of the Week honor of her career Monday.

Meanwhile, all Nurse did in the Huskies' difficult December was play, perhaps, the best ball of her career.

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Geno Wired 00:01:00
Get an inside look at Geno Auriemma as he was "wired" for sound during a UConn Huskies basketball practice.

Get an inside look at Geno Auriemma as he goes "wired" for sound during a UConn Huskies basketball practice...


Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier and guard Saniya Chong celebrate a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Napheesa Collier and guard Saniya Chong celebrate a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes/USA Today Sports Images)

Napheesa Collier did a number of good things for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team on Sunday. The sophomore forward was 10-for-11 from the floor and scored 22 points in the top-ranked Huskies' 84-48 American Athletic Conference rout of Central Florida at CFE Arena.

That wasn't good enough for coach Geno Auriemma, though, who picked on one number -- the season-high four turnovers -- that Collier had to go with her career best five assists.

"She gets everybody involved, on our team, their team, everybody," Auriemma said. "She makes everyone feel good at the end of the game."

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UCF Knights assistant coach Nykesha Sales chats with Connecticut Huskies assistant coach Shea Ralph and associate head coach Chris Dailey and assistant coach Marisa Moseley before their game at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears)
UCF Knights assistant coach Nykesha Sales chats with Connecticut Huskies assistant coach Shea Ralph and associate head coach Chris Dailey and assistant coach Marisa Moseley before their game at CFE Federal Credit Union Arena. (Phil Sears)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Of the five starters and top two reserves on the 1995 national champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team, four went into coaching.

Two -- Jennifer Rizzotti and Jamelle Elliott -- were like coaches as players. Rizzotti is in her first season at George Washington University after a long run at Hartford while Elliott has been at Cincinnati since 2009. Carla Berube shocked coach Geno Auriemma when she entered coaching. She led Tufts University to the 2016 NCAA Division III final and reached the 100, 200, and 300-win plateaus faster than her Hall of Fame college coach.

But for Auriemma, the biggest surprise -- even bigger than Berube -- came last offseason when Nykesha Sales became an assistant to first-year Central Florida head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson.

"Nothing. There was not one thing I saw in Nykesha from the first time I met her that would lead me to believe that she would ever have any interest in coaching," Auriemma said with a smile Sunday. "It's still the most baffling phone call I got when she called and said she wanted to look into coaching. I thought she was kidding me.

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Trivia Question of the Game 00:00:25
Find out the answer to the Huskies Trivia Question of the Game presented by Mercedes Benz: Who scored the most points in a single game?

Question: Which former Huskie holds the school record for most points in a single game?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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Geno Auriemma on Top 25 rankings 00:01:08
Geno Auriemma sits down with Justine Ward and shares his thoughts on the system in place that determines the Top 25 rankings.

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Culmo's Courtvision vs. UCF 00:00:57
Culmo's Courtvision breaks down the first quarter Huskies' defense against the University of Central Florida.

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UConn Huskies win 88th straight 00:01:51
The UConn women's basketball team defeats UCF by the score of 84-48 for the team's 88th straight victory.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gabby Williams was at the most wonderful place on Earth Sunday.

There were no 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5 players at CFE Arena for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's junior forward to defend.

"You have no idea," Williams said with a smile. "UCF was still really physical so it was still tough. But it is really nice when I don't have to jump around somebody."

Williams was her stat-sheet stuffing self Sunday, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks before taking a well-deserved seat for the fourth quarter. Well before then, the top-ranked Huskies secured their 88th consecutive win as they ripped Central Florida 84-48 in their American Athletic Conference opener.

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Dec 31, 2016; Tulsa, OK, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Junior Etou (0) dribbles the ball around Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) during the first half of the game at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 31, 2016; Tulsa, OK, USA; Tulsa Golden Hurricane forward Junior Etou (0) dribbles the ball around Connecticut Huskies guard Rodney Purvis (15) during the first half of the game at Donald Reynolds Center. (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Pat Birt stole the ball, scored with 1:12 left in overtime - then added a free throw in the final seconds - to boost Tulsa past UConn 61-59 in an American Athletic Conference opener on Saturday.

Birt and Stirling Taplin scored 13 points each for Tulsa (7-6), which forced 17 Huskies turnovers.

Tags: University of Tulsa
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Dec 29, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; The Connecticut Huskies bench reacts to a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports)
Dec 29, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; The Connecticut Huskies bench reacts to a play against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. (Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Coach Geno Auriemma's accomplishments with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team have earned him a spot in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

The list is long, starting with the 11 national championships, including six perfect seasons.

Veteran Maryland coach Brenda Frese, however, believes that Auriemma may be doing the best job of his career in this his 32nd year. But Frese, who coached the Terrapins to the 2006 NCAA title, also knows a coach's success is due to their players.  

Top-ranked UConn improved to 12-0 and pushed its winning streak to 87 by holding off No. 4 Maryland 87-81 at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland. Katie Lou Samuelson had 23 points as all five UConn starters reached double figures.

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GEICO SportsNite: Edsall returns 00:01:50
Former UConn head coach Randy Edsall returns for a second tenure with the university after a six-year absence.

The UConn football program has named Randy Edsall as its head coach to replace Bob Diaco, the school announced Wednesday. 

Edsall, who signed a five-year deal, returns to UConn after coaching the team from 1999-2010. During his first stint with the Huskies, Edsall led the team to 74 wins and helped transition move from Division 1-AA to 1-A. 

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 (Steven Branscombe)
(Steven Branscombe)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Perhaps the best prediction Geno Auriemma has made in his tenure as coach of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team came in March, 1991. Even though his Huskies were 0-2 in NCAA tournament play going into the 1991 event, Auriemma said that if UConn -- the No. 3 seed in the East Regional -- beat Toledo in its tourney opener, it would go on to the Final Four. And that's what happened.

But while it seems like he's been able to do little wrong, particularly in guiding the Huskies to 11 national championships, Auriemma isn't always right.

Last summer, he took a look at the non-league schedule the 2016-17 Huskies would face and predicted they would go 7-6 in it.

"That's what I thought, or 8-5 maybe," Auriemma said. "Maybe 10-3? I don't know, something. What do you want me to tell you? I don't have an answer for you. I wish I did."

Tags: Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse, Saniya Chong, Carl Adamec
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