Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Friday, February 15, 2013

UConn youngsters ready for first game at the RAC

Stefanie Dolson drew a blank when I asked her if she had warned her younger UConn teammates about the unique environment when the Huskies play at the RAC.

Even a native New Yorker who has played at at Rutgers' home court was unaware that Louis Brown Athletic Center is commonly referred to as the RAC as in the Rutgers Athletic Center so one can only imagine what the underclassmen on the UConn team know about playing in one of the most unique environments in the Big East.

"I have heard about it and I have seen the games on TV so I am excited," UConn freshman Moriah Jefferson said. "I am anxious to get in the arena, I think it will be fun."

Fun would not be the word Dolson, Bria Hartley and the rest of the veteran Huskies would use to describe the last time UConn played at Rutgers.

"That is a tough place to play in but I think we go out there and execute our game plan and stay focused, I think we will be all right," Hartley said. "I remember my freshman year that my first half wasn't the first half we necessarily wold have liked."

The UConn/Rutgers rivalry certainly has lost a few miles off its fastball. Once it was THE game to look forward to in the Big East or THE games as the rivals played home and home series during the regular season. Even the Big East saw what was happened to decided to have Notre Dame play the Huskies twice during every regular season.

If Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer wasn't going after her 900th career victory I doubt the game would even generate any attention outside of the Connecticut and New Jersey markets.

"I think Rutgers has found out that it is one thing to say what you are going to be and it is a whole other thing to be able to sustain it for a long period," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "As far as I am concerned, that stuff is ancient history, all that stuff that happened 15 years ago or 20 years ago. (Now) there isn't anything other than we have a game against them Saturday at their place. There may or may not be another game against them this year or next year."

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