Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One and done

Considering the less than welcoming greeting he normally gets when he walks into the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J., it might surprise some to hear UConn coach Geno Auriemma express regret at not playing a game at Rutgers this season.

"It will feel weird at the end of the year when you aren't going down there because you are so used to playing in that (arena)," Auriemma said. "You look forward to that and mark that on your calendar every year."

Rutgers and UConn were paired up by the Big East as the intense rivalry thrived by the two annual regular-season meetings. But with Notre Dame back on the way up, the decision was made to change up the home-and-home opponents. Now Notre Dame will play UConn twice while Rutgers faces Syracuse twice.

The UConn and Rutgers rivalry has been occasionally contentious but always fierce.

"It seems like it has been a pretty intense rivalry. It took them a couple of years but once my good friend Linda Miles arrived, that kind of spiced things up a little bit," Auriemma said with a laugh. "I told her that when I saw her at the referee camp, she is an official now."

Auriemma said Miles is a pretty good official who is working her way up the ladder.

Rutgers is unranked, seven losses in the first 19 games will usually do that. But it should be noted that five of the defeats came to teams ranked in the top 25 in one of the two major polls at the time of the game.

"Rutgers is always a physical team, they are always hard to play against because we have played each other twice a year for as long as I have been here," UConn senior guard/forward Kalana Greene said. "We are really familiar with them and they are really familiar with us and it really makes them hard to play. A lot of guys know each other, it is a rivalry that is a lot more personal than other teams. The physicalness of the game is definitely going to be one of the big keys of how we handle that."

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