Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie calls out to his team during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina State in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Back in 1979 the University of Connecticut men's basketball team was in no-man's land.
A regional program unsure of where it was going.
That all changed when the Huskies became one of the charter members of a basketball conference called the Big East.
The Huskies used the Big East and its advantageous recruiting ties to big cities to become one of the top basketball programs in America. The Huskies have won three national titles, made four final fours and have been one of the top programs in the nation for the last quarter century.
Nothing lasts forever and once again UConn is at a crossroads.
When seven Big East Catholic schools – Georgetown, Villanova, St. John's, DePaul, Marquette, Providence and Seton Hall – voted to withdraw from the conference it put the Huskies right back to where they were in 1979.
UConn is the lone remaining of those charter schools with Boston College, Syracuse, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and St. John's all leaving the conference at some point in the last decade. The league has lost all of its member from the 2003 season save for Connecticut, and the Huskies face a brave new world unsure of its place in it.
Barring an invitation to join the ACC or Big Ten, UConn is left to make do where it is.
“We have to be ready for our next step,” UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said. “We can't sit back and have a pity-party...We have to continue to recruit, we have to continue to sell this program. It's a great university and that's what we continue to do.
“We are a great university, our brand is still strong and we are going forward and we got a great president, great AD, and a terrific coaching staff.”
The effect on UConn athletics will be profound as it tries to find its place in the college sports food chain. UConn upgraded its football team – the impetus behind all this conference shuffling – to the FBS in 2002 and joined the Big East as a football member in 2004.
The potential revenue and cost of playing football at the FBS level are so large that football ends up being the No. 1 concern for any school that plays the sport at the highest level. Connecticut is no different. The Huskies' national brand is almost entirely in men's and women's basketball with football still in its infancy stages, though there are some strides having made five bowls games and even a trip to the Fiesta Bowl in its first decade at the top level.
There is sentiment to branch out with the Catholic 7, but the need for football playing members, scheduling and television revenue requires that the Huskies stay where they are with the configuration of a New Big East with Temple, Cincinnati and Memphis forming the backbone of the league.
For the men's basketball program, the separation of the Catholic schools couldn't have come at a worse time. The Huskies are at a low point having had Notre Dame, Louisville and Rutgers exit the conference this fall just weeks after hall of fame coach Jim Calhoun retired. The Huskies are also facing an NCAA and Big East tournament ban as a penalty for poor academic progress. All of that that is done while head coach Kevin Ollie works on a make-good seven-month contract that expires on April 1st.
Ollie's contract status is pending and athletic director Warde Manuel hasn't moved towards a long-term deal yet.
Ollie has UConn off to a 7-2 start heading into Monday's game against Maryland Eastern-Shore. While he has had short-term success, there is a long-term problem for the program and recruiting.
UConn has two players signed for next season in Brooklyn guard Terrence Samuel and forward Kentan Facey from Glen Head, N.Y. While both will help the Huskies, the school is in desperate need of impact players that it isn't getting. The staff recently lost out on hotly-contested recruit Brandon Austin to Providence and are not in play for any of the top remaining recruits for 2013. This comes on the heels of being decimated but scholarship limitations, exits to the NBA Draft and transfers associated with the tournament bans.
Going forward, how will Ollie's contract situation and the loss of the Big East as one of the top basketball league's in the nation effect recruiting? Ollie is giving recruits the positive outlook.
“I am going to be here for a lifetime. I am going to be here, not seven months but 7 years or 27 years. That's what I am telling them,” Ollie said. “That's what I say because that's what I believe. Until someone comes into my office and says the keys don't work, I am going to be in my office... I wholeheartedly believe that I will have a lot of chapters at the University of Connecticut as head coach.”
The basketball will also be hurt by the entrance of of historically weak programs. Houston hasn't be relevant nationally in hoops since the 1980s and Southern Methodist hasn't been good though it is coached by NBA legend Larry Brown. The addition of Memphis and Temple will help break the fall of losing Georgetown and Villanova, but Central Florida, Tulane, Houston and SMU bring little to to the table from a basketball standpoint.
The new league won't be nearly as powerful as what UConn has been accustomed too and the days of 9 league teams getting NCAA bids, or like UConn in 2010, a 9th place team winning the national championship, are over.
Strength of schedule, recruiting, national exposure and ultimate ability to compete are at issues with whatever configuration the Big East has going forward.
The Huskies know where they want to go now. But like it was back in 1979, how they get there is the big unknown.
Tags: Men's Basketball, UCONN

SNY UConn Women's Basketball analyst Meghan Culmo will be answering fan questions later this week. To submit a question to Meghan, send an email to uconn@sny.tv or send us a tweet to @SNYtv using the hashtag #snyuconn.

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UConn TV Timeout: Natalie Butler 00:01:32
SNY.tv profiles UConn center Natalie Butler in the latest TV Timeout.

You've seen what the UCONN Women's Basketball team is like on the court, but what about off the court? SNY.tv's TV Timeouts provide an in-depth look at the players' personalities, hobbies, thoughts on Coach Auriemma and playing at UCONN.

Click here to see more profiles on:

Crystal Dangerfield

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn women 00:00:24
The UConn Women's Basketball team toppled Texas 72-54, for its 82nd consecutive victory.

Napheesa Collier scored 24 points and No. 2 UConn won its 82nd consecutive game with a 72-54 victory over No. 14 Texas on Sunday in the annual Jimmy V Classic.

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Chattanooga women's basketball coach Jim Foster, left, speaks with Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, right, before a ceremony to celebrate the life of former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt Thursday, July 14, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. Summitt died June 28 at the age of 64. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool) (Mark Humphrey/AP)
Chattanooga women's basketball coach Jim Foster, left, speaks with Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, right, before a ceremony to celebrate the life of former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt Thursday, July 14, 2016, in Knoxville, Tenn. Summitt died June 28 at the age of 64. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool) (Mark Humphrey/AP)

One statistic about the 2016 unbeaten national champion University of Connecticut women's basketball team tells all about its dominance.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

It's not like Kia Nurse hasn't scored 33 points in a game during her college days before.

On July 20, 2015, Nurse torched her University of Connecticut teammates Moriah Jefferson and Breanna Stewart and Team USA for 33 points to lead the Canada to its first Pan American Games gold medal.

The Huskies didn't need most or all of Nurse's UConn career high points against No. 15 DePaul Thursday night the way Team Canada did against the Americans during the Hamilton, Ontario, native's magical night at the old Maple Leafs Garden in Toronto. But the Huskies' junior guard needed the kind of performance she had in the 91-46 rout of the Blue Demons at Gampel Pavilion more than anything.

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UConn Trivia: Unranked opponent 00:00:39
In this edition of UConn Trivia, presented by Mercedes-Benz, we ask: who was the last unranked opponent to defeat the Huskies?

Question: Who is the last UConn player to score 40+ points in a game?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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Geno Auriemma on statement games 00:02:52
Geno Auriemma discusses what it means to win against top level teams early in the season.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn WBB win 00:00:41
UConn improves to 6-0 on the season with a 91-46 blowout win over DePaul University, led by 33 points from Kia Nurse.

Box score

STORRS, Conn. -- Geno Auriemma said Tuesday night his University of Connecticut women's basketball team needed a "good, old-fashioned butt kicking."

With 1:53 left in the third quarter of Thursday night's game with DePaul, Katie Lou Samuelson reached out onto the court from the Huskies' bench to give teammate Kia Nurse a smack on the rear end.

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SNY UConn Women's Basketball analyst Meghan Culmo answers fan questions!

Saniya Chong had a nice offensive game against Florida State (first game of season) scoring 16 points. Since then she has only scored 10 points in the last three games. What do you attribute that to as she doesn't look like she is looking to take a shot. Is it lack of confidence or Geno not asking her to score ? -- Janet W.

Meghan Culmo: Hi Janet W, thanks for writing! This is my first official reply! Saniya is incredibly talented offensively. Heck, she averaged 34 points a game her senior year in high school! But, at UConn you are expected to do more than score plus, UConn has many talented offensive weapons. If she wants to find more time on the floor my hunch is she needs to play better on the defensive end of the floor. Thanks again for writing!

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UConn Trivia: 15 field goals 00:00:49
In this edition of UConn Trivia, presented by Mercedes-Benz, we ask: who was the last UConn player to make 15 field goals in a game?

Question: Who is the last UConn player to make 15 field goals in a game?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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Nov 20, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) dribbles against Louisiana State Tigers guard Jenna Deemer (1) during the game at Maravich Assembly Center. Connecticut Huskies won 76-53. (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 20, 2016; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) dribbles against Louisiana State Tigers guard Jenna Deemer (1) during the game at Maravich Assembly Center. Connecticut Huskies won 76-53. (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

Gabby Williams is aware nothing will be easy for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team Thursday night.
The second-ranked Huskies open their difficult December schedule against No. 15 DePaul at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 7 p.m.). While UConn has dominated the series with the Blue Demons, having won 13 consecutive meetings since 2006 when they played as members of the Big East, a number of the games the past decade have been closer than the final scores would indicate.

Take their 2015 matchup in Chicago, for example. UConn saw a double-figure lead cut to five in the fourth quarter. It took a 3-pointer by Katie Lou Samuelson to spark a late surge that resulted in an 86-70 win.

 

Tags: Gabby Williams
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UConn defeats Boston University 00:02:21
The UConn men's hoops team earned its first home win of the season, edging Boston University 51-49.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Freshman Christian Vital scored 13 points and UConn held off Boston University 51-49 on Wednesday night.

Kentan Facey added eight points and seven rebounds for the Huskies (3-4), who picked up their first home win, despite shooting just 32 percent from the field.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they takes on the Baylor Bears at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they takes on the Baylor Bears at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The rain came down hard at times outside the XL Center Tuesday night.

Inside, it was coach Geno Auriemma pouring cold water on his University of Connecticut women's basketball team, which seemed to need a bit of a wake-up call.

The second-ranked Huskies made it 80 wins in a row by beating Chattanooga 80-43. But the energy and effort wasn't what the Hall of Fame coach wanted and the lack of fire seemed to permeate into the crowd of 6,090, which watched quietly for the most part.

"That's the world we live in today," Auriemma said. "We used to be different. We used to be special, somewhat. We're like everyone else now. Our guys play when they're in the mood. They get in a defensive stance when they feel like it. The second half they felt like it. The first half they didn't. Hall of Fame coach or not, they don't care."

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Culmo's Courtvision: Offense 00:00:57
SNY UConn analyst Meg Culmo talks about UConn's spacing on the offensive end during the Huskies' win over Chattanooga

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UConn Trivia: Unranked opponent 00:00:39
In this edition of UConn Trivia, presented by Mercedes-Benz, we ask: who was the last unranked opponent to defeat the Huskies?

Question: Who is the last unranked opponent to defeat the Huskies?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn WBB 00:00:45
The Huskies improved to 5-0 on the season with a 80-43 win over Chattanooga, extending their winning streak to 80 games.

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Napheesa Collier missed her first shot Tuesday night.

It hardly set a tone for the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sophomore forward's performance.

Collier made her next 11 attempts for a career best in field goals and finished with a game-high 23 points as the second-ranked Huskies pushed their winning streak to 80 by defeating Chattanooga 80-43 at the XL Center.

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 (Jim Brown)
(Jim Brown)

Geno Auriemma was 24 years old when he accepted an invitation from Jim Foster to join his staff as an assistant coach with the Saint Joseph's University women's basketball team.

Thirty-eight years and 2,281 games as head coaches -- including seven against each other -- later, they are still crossing paths on the sidelines.

Who could have or would have guessed that 38 years ago?

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SNY UConn Women's Basketball analyst Meghan Culmo will be answering fan questions later this week. To submit a question to Meghan, send an email to uconn@sny.tv or send us a tweet to @SNYtv using the hashtag #snyuconn.

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Louisiana State Tigers forward Ayana Mitchell fights for a rebound against Connecticut Huskies guard Molly Bent during their game at Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports Images)
Louisiana State Tigers forward Ayana Mitchell fights for a rebound against Connecticut Huskies guard Molly Bent during their game at Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports Images)

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team will likely be short-handed Tuesday night when it takes on Chattanooga at Hartford's XL Center.

Freshman Crystal Dangerfield is expected to miss the matchup with the Mocs as she goes through UConn's concussion protocol. Dangerfield has averaged nine points and 4.3 assists in 24.3 minutes off the bench for the second-ranked Huskies (4-0), who will go for their 80th consecutive win.

Without Dangerfield, freshman guard Molly Bent will get a long look from coach Geno Auriemma. Someone has to fill in those minutes, so why not the 5-foot-9 Centerville, Massachusetts, native?

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the LSU Tigers in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sideline as they take on the LSU Tigers in the second half at XL Center. (David Butler II)

Anaya Peoples could sit back and relax and look over the more than 30 scholarship offers the Schlarman Academy sophomore has already received.

But that's not how the 5-foot-10 guard from Danville, Illinois, does things and it's why she is considered one of the top recruits in the Class of 2019.

"I think that with each offer it just inspires me to get into the gym and work harder," Peoples said. "I really appreciate them. But I also know I have a long way to go and that I have to get better."

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn football 00:00:51
UConn?s season ends with a six-game losing streak after falling to Tulane 38-13.

Tulane took advantage of a blocked punt and two interceptions of Donovan Williams to defeat UConn 38-13 Saturday in East Hartford in the season-ending game for both American Athletic Conference football teams.

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Charli Collier practices with USA Basketball. (USA Basketball)
Charli Collier practices with USA Basketball. (USA Basketball)

Charli Collier can focus on her junior season at Barbers Hill High.

That's good news for the 6-foot-4 junior forward from Baytown, Texas, but was better news for the University of Connecticut women's basketball program.

Collier -- who is rated the No. 1 recruit by Prospect Nations, No. 2 by the Blue Star Index, and No. 7 by ESPN Hoopgurlz in the Class of 2018 -- announced on Saturday that she has made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Connecticut.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn falls 00:01:24
The UConn Huskies fell to No. 13 ranked Oregon, 79-69, dropping to 2-4 on the season.

Jalen Adams scored a game-high 27 points as UConn lost to No. 13 Oregon 79-69 in the Maui Invitational fifth-place game on Wednesday.

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Nov 11, 2016; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Terry Larrier (22) reacts after a play in the last seconds of game against the Wagner Seahawks at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Wagner defeated UConn 67-58. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 11, 2016; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Terry Larrier (22) reacts after a play in the last seconds of game against the Wagner Seahawks at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Wagner defeated UConn 67-58. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

UConn guard Terry Larrier will miss the rest of the season with a torn left ACL, the school announced Wednesday. 

Larrier sustained the injury during Monday's loss against Oklahoma State in the first round of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. 

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Culmo's Courtvision: Samuelson 00:00:41
SNY analyst Meg Culmo breaks down the diverse skills of UConn sophomore guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) prepares to shoot the ball as Oregon State Beavers center Ruth Hamblin (44) defends during the third quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Thomas J. Russo)
Connecticut Huskies guard Gabby Williams (15) prepares to shoot the ball as Oregon State Beavers center Ruth Hamblin (44) defends during the third quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Thomas J. Russo)

STORRS, Conn. -- There are times when no one can stop Gabby Williams, you can only hope to contain her. But in the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's first three games, the player most effective in doing that was herself.

The junior forward picked up three fouls in the first 4:21 of the opener against Florida State, two fouls in the opening 4:15 against Baylor, and two fouls in a 23-second span late in the first quarter against LSU.

While she was in a fouling mood coming into Tuesday night's game with Dayton, she was all smiles afterwards. She didn't commit a foul in 26 minutes and recorded her 10th career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds to go along with a career high five assists in No. 2 UConn's 98-65 victory over the Flyers at Gampel Pavilion.

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UConn Trivia: Huskies leaders 00:00:34
Who are the only four Huskies to finish their careers with 2,000-plus points and 1,000-plus rebounds?

Question: Who are the only 4 Huskies to finish their careers with 2,000+ points and 1,000+ rebounds?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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GEICO SportsNite: Streak hits 79 00:00:57
The UConn Women's basketball team stayed undefeated with a convincing win over the University of Dayton, 98-65.
STORRS, Conn. -- For the first five minutes Tuesday night, Dayton looked like the club that gave the University of Connecticut women's basketball team fits in the 2015 NCAA tournament Elite Eight.

From there, the Huskies made the Flyers look like the team that opened this season with a loss to Quinnipiac.

Katie Lou Samuelson scored 29 points, making it back-to-back games with career bests, Napheesa Collier added 22, and Gabby Williams had a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds as No. 2 UConn rolled to a 98-65 win over Dayton before a crowd of 6,443 at Gampel Pavilion.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn Men's BB 00:01:13
The UConn men's basketball team bounces back with a win in the Maui Invitational over Chaminade, led by 23 points from Rodney Purvis.

Jalen Adams had 25 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, helping Connecticut survive for a 93-82 victory over Division II Chaminade Tuesday in the Maui Invitational.

UConn (2-3) had a hard time shaking the deep-shooting Silverswords (2-2), who have had a penchant for knocking off big-name opponents.

The Huskies shot 61 percent, yet weren't able to pull away from Chaminade until the closing minutes.

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Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson grabs a rebound against Louisiana State Tigers guard Raigyne Moncrief during their game at Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports Images)
Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson grabs a rebound against Louisiana State Tigers guard Raigyne Moncrief during their game at Maravich Assembly Center. (Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports Images)

Katie Lou Samuelson is coming off her highest scoring game when No. 2 UConn faces Dayton on Tuesday.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn in Maui 00:00:44
UConn men's basketball was defeated 98-90 in a matchup against Oklahoma State in the Maui Invitational.

The University of Connecticut men's basketball cut an 18-point deficit into single digits in the second half, but it was not enough as the Huskies lost to Oklahoma State 98-90 on Monday at Lahaina Civic Center.

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Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (2) shoots against Northeastern Huskies guard Donnell Gresham Jr. (22) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)
Connecticut Huskies guard Jalen Adams (2) shoots against Northeastern Huskies guard Donnell Gresham Jr. (22) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. (David Butler II)

After beginning the season with losses at home to Wagner and Northwestern, UConn held a players-only meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday. 

The Huskies would go on to win their first game of the season later that night as they rallied late to beat Loyola Marymount 65-62.

"Everybody's relaxed now and just playing basketball," said sophomore G Jalen Adams. "Before, everybody was just so tense after we lost the first one. Everybody was just trying to do everything."

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UConn recruit Lexi Gordon (Courtesy of USA Basketball)
UConn recruit Lexi Gordon (Courtesy of USA Basketball)

Lexi Gordon reached the 2,000-point plateau in her high school career Friday. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's Class of 2017 signee would have gladly traded a bunch of them for a couple of wins.

L.D. Bell High's all-time leading scorer hit the milestone with a layup off of a steal early in the Lady Raiders' pool-play game against Prestonwood Academy in the Allen Lady Eagle Hoopfest. The 6-foot guard/forward from Fort Worth, Texas, finished with 16 points but L.D. Bell fell 56-53. She would add 20 points in a loss to Cedar Hill in the gold bracket quarterfinals Friday afternoon.

"It was tough," a tired-sounding Gordon said after the Lady Raiders fell to 3-4.

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GEICO SportsNite: UConn wins 00:00:27
With their win over LSU, the UConn Huskies women's basketball team pushed their winning streak to 78 straight games.

Katie Lou Samuelson made seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 28 points to lead No. 3 UConn to a 76-53 win over LSU at Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

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Nov 17, 2016; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33), guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) and guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) help guard Gabby Williams (15) up after being fouled by Baylor Bears in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Baylor 72-61. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Nov 17, 2016; Storrs, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson (33), guard Crystal Dangerfield (5) and guard/forward Napheesa Collier (24) help guard Gabby Williams (15) up after being fouled by Baylor Bears in the second half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. UConn defeated Baylor 72-61. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

As Kia Nurse dribbled out the final seconds of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 72-61 win over No. 2 Baylor Thursday night, the crowd of 9,049 -- which had been on its feet for much of the stretch drive -- let out one final roar.

The cheering didn't stop once the third-ranked Huskies reached their locker room.

"We had to grind it out to beat this team," UConn junior Gabby Williams said. "We didn't have to do that last year, and maybe a couple of times my freshman year. It was a lot of fun because so many guys were involved and we had so many key plays."

Freshman Crystal Dangerfield came off the bench to pace four players in double figures, and UConn (2-0) used a decisive 16-2 run to break the game's last tie in the fourth quarter.

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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

BOSTON (AP) -- Patrick Towles passed for 183 yards and a touchdown in his final home game, Davon Jones added a rushing score and Boston College kept alive its bowl hopes will a 30-0 win over UConn on Saturday.

Eagles senior linebacker Matt Milano added a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Tags: Boston College
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Oct 29, 2016; Greenville, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates linebacker Dayon Pratt (1) tackles Connecticut Huskies running back Arkeel Newsome (22) during the third quarter at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. East Carolina defeated Connecticut 41-3. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
Oct 29, 2016; Greenville, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates linebacker Dayon Pratt (1) tackles Connecticut Huskies running back Arkeel Newsome (22) during the third quarter at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. East Carolina defeated Connecticut 41-3. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON (AP) -- At the beginning of the year, Boston College set its sights on making it back to the postseason.

With two games to go in the regular season, the Eagles have no margin for error if they want to get there.

Tags: Boston College
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Mar 28, 2016; Bridgeport, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse (11) drives the ball against Texas Longhorns guard Celina Rodrigo (2) during the first half in the finals of the Bridgeport regional of the women's NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Mar 28, 2016; Bridgeport, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Kia Nurse (11) drives the ball against Texas Longhorns guard Celina Rodrigo (2) during the first half in the finals of the Bridgeport regional of the women's NCAA Tournament at Webster Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

STORRS, Conn. -- Bria Hartley had a glow about her Thursday night as she sat in the first row behind the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's bench Thursday night, and not just because she is pregnant with her first child.

The two-time Huskies' All-American and national champion and current WNBA Washington Mystics guard knew better than anyone how Crystal Dangerfield was feeling after the freshman torched No. 2 Baylor for 19 points in third-ranked UConn's 72-61 win at Gampel Pavilion.

On Nov. 16, 2010, UConn erased an eight-point second-half deficit and defeated Baylor 65-64 at the XL Center in Hartford. It was the Huskies' second victory over the Bears in eight months, No. 77 -- like Thursday night's -- and No. 80 of their NCAA-record 90-game winning streak. Then it was another freshman, Hartley, who playing in her second game at UConn led a late charge as she scored eight of her nine points in a 1:47 span with her 3-pointer with 2:09 to go giving the Huskies the lead for good.

Tags: Crystal Dangerfield, Gabby Williams, Kia Nurse, Kyla Irwin, Molly Bent, Carl Adamec
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Culmo Courtvision: UConn D 00:00:31
SNY analyst Meg Culmo breaks down a play from UConn?s defense in the first half of Thursday?s win against the Baylor Lady Bears.

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 (David Butler II)
(David Butler II)

For many in the crowd of 9,049 at Gampel Pavilion Thursday night, watching Crystal Dangerfield in action in her regular season home debut with the University of Connecticut women's basketball team was love at her first sight.

But Katie Lou Samuelson has seen this before from Dangerfield. The two were teammates and roommates with the 2013 United States U-16 national team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico.

So Samuelson was hardly surprised when Dangerfield came in with a breakout performance. The freshman guard had 19 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 30 minutes off the bench as the third-ranked Huskies downed No. 2 Baylor 72-61 to push their winning streak to 77.

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UConn defeats Loyola, 65-62 00:02:21
Highlights of UConn men's basketball's 65-62 win against Loyola Marymount.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After losing the first two games of the season at home, UConn was in danger of dropping its third straight.

But a late rally ignited the Huskies to their first win of the season.

Terry Larrier scored 14 points, including the go-ahead basket, and UConn held on to beat Loyola Marymount 65-62 on Thursday night.

"We were scrambling a bit at the end and we were running on an empty tank," Larrier said. "At the end of the game we were trying to stop them from getting open-look 3s and it's definitely nice to get that first win."

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UConn defeats Baylor, 72-61 00:01:49
Highlights of UConn women's basketball's 72-61 win against Baylor for the team's 77th consecutive victory.

STORRS, Conn. -- If the University of Connecticut women's basketball team's goal is to get better each day, mission accomplished.

After a shaky finish in their season opener at No. 12 Florida State Monday, the third-ranked Huskies closed like a champion Thursday night under the view of their 11th and newest national championship banner.

Freshman Crystal Dangerfield came off the bench for 19 points, five assists, and a pair of steals in a stirring 30 minutes as UConn used a decisive 16-2 fourth-quarter run to break the game's last tie and stun No. 2 Baylor 72-61 before a raucous 9,049 at Gampel Pavilion.

"We were in an attack mode more tonight," UConn guard Katie Lou Samuelson said. "In the fourth quarter we decided that we were the ones who were going to set the pace. We were going to control it. Against Florida State, there were some moments that we thought, 'We can't let them score,' and we were kind of scared of what they would do. We embraced the fact that we would be ready to play the last several minutes."

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UConn Trivia: Crenshaw 00:00:33
UConn head coach Kevin Ollie graduated from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles. What New York sports legend also attended Crenshaw?

Question: Kevin Ollie graduated from L.A.'s Crenshaw High. What other NY sports legend attended Crenshaw?

Click above to play the answer.

 

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UConn Trivia: 2010 Final Four 00:00:48
Who did UConn defeat in the 2010 Final Four for the 77th of their record-setting 90 consecutive wins?

Question: Who did UConn defeat in the 2010 Final Four for the 77th of their record setting 90 straight wins?

Click above to play the answer.

 

 

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Life after the 'Big Three' 00:02:44
Michelle Yu and former Women's Huskies greats Sue Bird and Kara Wolters preview life for Geno Auriemma's team after the 'Big Three'.

Kia Nurse has a short memory.

"The game happened, you watch film, and you go to practice and you fix it," Nurse said Wednesday. "That's how I feel."

The junior guard had as many points as turnovers (4) and picked up an ill-advised fifth foul in the final minute of the third-ranked University of Connecticut women's basketball team's 78-76 win over No. 12 Florida State on Monday.

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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

STORRS, Conn. -- No one would blame Katie Lou Samuelson if she brought along her No. 12 USA Basketball uniform Thursday night.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sophomore guard and some of her college teammates have several connections with Baylor through their time with USA Basketball. The third-ranked Huskies face the No. 2 Bears Thursday night at Gampel Pavilion (SNY, 7:30 p.m.).

"It's fun and kind of exciting when you go against players you played with on a USA Basketball team," Samuelson said. "It's a different level and you get to see them in their own element and compete against them."

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Tonight's UConn schedule on SNY:

  • 7PM: UConn Women's Basketball Preview Show
  • 7:30PM: Baylor @ UConn Women
  • 9:30PM: UConn Men's Basketball Pre Game Show
  • 10PM: UConn Men @ Loyola Marymount
  • 12AM: UConn Men's Basketball Post Game Show
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 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

Lauren Cox and the second-ranked Baylor University women's basketball team made their way into Gampel Pavilion Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. to continue their preparations for Thursday's showdown with No. 3 UConn (SNY, 7:30 p.m.)

Other than the noise of basketball bouncing and coaches and players communicating, it was quiet.

It was a lot different atmosphere than the last time Cox was in the building. The 6-foot-4 freshman forward from Flower Mound, Texas, was at the Huskies' annual First Night program a year ago as part of her official recruiting visit.

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Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sidelines during the second half against the East Carolina Pirates at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. (Rob Kinnan)
Connecticut Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma watches from the sidelines during the second half against the East Carolina Pirates at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. (Rob Kinnan)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The whistle blew and Katie Lou Samuelson knew.

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team's sophomore guard committed her fourth foul with 2:49 to go in the third quarter Monday and made her way over to the Huskies' bench figuring she was going to take a seat.

Then it was something new for the Hall of Fame coach in his 1,090th game at UConn.

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