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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No renewal of Baylor/UConn series is in the works

When UConn travels to Baylor a week today for a much-anticipated showdown between the nation's No. 1 and 2 ranked teams it will mark the third straight season the Huskies and Lady Bears have met. It looks like it could be the last one for a while.

After playing in the 2009 national semifinals, the teams agreed to play a home and home series. UConn edged Baylor 65-64 on Nov. 16, 2010 at the XL Center and now comes the rematch in Waco.

Following Baylor's 73-59 win over St. John's in the first game of Sunday's Maggie Dixon, I asked Mulkey for an update on whether the teams will be renewing the contract.

"I don't think so," Mulkey said. "We've had talks. We couldn't and they couldn't and just never got anywhere. This is the tail end of a two-year deal. That doesn't mean it won't happen. That depends on television, that depends on what we get invited to. Both programs are going to be outstanding. It is not because we don't both want to but he may want to do it on this date and I may want to do it on another date, things like that you have to work out in the future."

I asked Mulkey if the addition of Southern Methodist and Houston to the Big East, which gives the Huskies a minimum of two games in the state of Texas every two years beginning in the 2013-14 season might impact Connecticut's desire to sign up for a trip to Baylor. She actually thought my question about Geno Auriemma perhaps not needing any additional games in the state of Texas was actually an inquiry about keeping him from recruiting the best players in the state of Texas.

"I don't want him in Texas," Mulkey said with a laugh. "I would imagine he would come to Texas. He got his first one (Moriah Jefferson) so I would imagine he would try to get back in the area."

POTENTIALLY COSTLY LOSS FOR ST. JOHN'S
A day start started in such impressive fashion for the St. John's women's basketball team turned sour in a hurry when junior guard Nadirah McKenith suffered a knee injury in the second half of the loss to No. 1 Baylor.

After the game St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico was hoping for the best but bracing for the worst.

"She hurt her knee and is going to have an MRI tomorrow but don't know too many details," Barnes Arico said. "She seems pretty hurt but I don't know (how seriously). I would say it is a significant loss for us, she runs our team.

"She was in a lot of pain. I just feel bad for the kid, you don't even think of wins and losses. She is just a great kid. She is one of the best kids we have in our program, she's so full of personality and when she was down it had to be tough for her. She was playing her butt off. She was going against a top point guard in the country (Odyssey Sims) and I thought she looked great in the first half. I thought she looked as good if not better. It was devastating but maybe tomorrow we get some good news."

If the injury keeps McKenith (who had had nine points, four rebounds, seven assists and two blocked shots) out for an extended period of time, former Lauralton Hall star Keylantra Langley could become the Red Storm's starting point guard. I caught up with Langley after the game and look for more on her emergence as a sophomore for St. John's as well as an update on senior forward and former Trinity Catholic star Da'Shena Stevens who missed her 10th straight game with a knee injury but has been cleared to practice on a limited basis.

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