Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

UConn/Penn State a natural rivalry

Penn State coach Coquese Washington was no stranger of annual games against UConn when she was an assistant coach at Notre Dame. Washington would love to see showdowns between the Lady Lions and the Huskies become an annual affair.

UConn and Penn State have played in the NCAA tournament four times since 2000 including a 77-59 UConn win in the 2012 tournament but have met in the regular season since once since 2000. Tomorrow's game is the start of a two-year home and home series between the schools so what are the chances the schools renew the deal when it expires?

"I know we'd like to continue it and I think UConn wants to continue it," Washington said. "We'll have to see  what the contract looks like. We want to play against the best competition. We want our fans to be able to see players come through here and give them an entertaining and exciting game to watch. I think it is great for the East Coast. We got a bunch of kids who brought a lot of buses, that is what makes college sports fun. You go on road trips, go and cheer your team on and they come back the next year. Hopefully this could be the beginning of a nice rivalry."

A regular season with Penn State would be just fine with UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

"I think it is a natural," Auriemma said. "We are both East Coast schools, Coquese recruits the kind of players I would recruit. She does things the way I would do them. I really like her. I have gotten to know her as a person and certainly I have coached against her and she has played against us. I really admire her a lot. I think it is a great institution. It that works out, I would love for us to play them."

Nobody can accuse Washington for putting together a soft schedule. The Lady Lions played at Texas A&M in the second game of the season, their only loss came at Miami and now comes a trip to UConn.

"We were a pretty good road team last year but when you can have those kind of road trips when you are going to Texas A&M, you are going to Miami, you are going to UConn not to mention that we got to play at Ohio State, we get to play at Michigan State (in Big 10 play) absolutely it is going to make us a very road savvy team. By the time we get to postseason play we'll (have played) in some of the best venues to play basketball in the country against some of the best teams in the country. That should bode well for us come NCAA tournament time."


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