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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UConn's title defense begins with early tests

Nobody can accuse the defending national champions for taking the easy road in the quest for a record ninth title.

After welcoming former UConn star Jen Rizzotti's Hartford team in the Nov. 9 season opener, the Huskies face potential top 10 teams Stanford, Maryland and Penn State in a six-day span.

A couple of other daunting non-conference games await in mid December when UConn travels to Duke on Dec. 17 before facing 2013 Final Four squad California five days later.

The first American Athletic Conference game will come against a familiar foe as UConn hosts Cincinnati which is coached by former UConn star forward and assistant coach Jamelle Elliott. The Huskies ring in 2014 by playing its conference road opener with a Jan, 1 game at Central Florida.

The Huskies will have a pair of games against the Louisville team they beat in the 2013 national championship game. The rivals meet in Connecticut on Feb. 9 and end the regular season with a Mar. 3 game at Louisville.

Here is a closer look at the schedule

NOVEMBER
Fri. 1 GANNON
UConn's preseason opener is against Division II quarterfinalists which return pair of double-digit scorers
Tue. 5 PHILADELPHIA
Lady Rams averaged 257 fans in its 2012-13 home games so playing in front of thousands in Connecticut will be a treat
Sat. 9 HARTFORD
Jen Rizzotti, the second UConn player inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, leads her Hawks against Huskies
Mon. 11 STANFORD  7 p.m ESPN2
Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike could be the best player in the country and No. 1 pick in 2014 WNBA draft .
Fri. 15 at Maryland  ESPNU
Another tough test as All-American Alyssa Thomas leads talented Terrapins squad
Sun. 17 at Penn State
Penn State will miss Alex Bentley but senior guard Maggie Lucas is one of nation's best shooters
Wed. 20 OREGON 7 p.m.
Former NBA coach Paul Westhead trying to turn Oregon program around
Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge
Fri. 22 BOSTON UNIVERSITY 7 p.m.
Game is a year late for former Wilbur Cross star Chantelle Alford to face Huskies
23 MONMOUTH
Hawks feature players from Canada, Serbia, New Zealand, Israel and Sweden
24 ST. BONAVENTURE
Veteran coach Jim Crowley has led Bonnies to four postseason appearances in last five seasons
DECEMBER
1 vs. Ohio State Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, Mass. 5:30 p.m. ESPN2
Former Xavier, Washington coach Kevin McGuff will turn around Buckeyes program but could struggle this season
5 UC-DAVIS 7 p.m.
Junior forward Sydnee Fipps averaged 17.1 points per game as a sophomore
17 at Duke 7 p.m. ESPN2
Blue Devils could pose biggest challenge to UConn's quest for an undefeated season led by All-Americans Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams
22 vs. California (Madison Square Garden) 1:30 p.m. ESPN2
Maggie Dixon Classic kicks off two-year contract with up and coming Cal program
29 CINCINNATI, 4 p.m.
Dayeesha Hollins does a little bit of everything for Bearcats
JANUARY
1 at UCF, 4 p.m.
There are worse ways to ring in the new year than spending a couple of days in Orlando
4 at Memphis
Could be first of two trips to Tennessee with the Final Four being held in Nashville
7 HOUSTON, 7 p.m.
Replacing high-scoring Porche Landry top priority for Cougars
11 TEMPLE, noon
Former UConn assistant coach Tonya Cardoza returns with young, talented Temple squad
13 at Baylor 7 p.m. ESPN2
Odyssey Sims returns for Lady Bears but most of her supporting cast has moved on
19 at Rutgers 3 p.m. ESPN2
Likely the final trip for the Huskies to the RAC, the scene of some intense Big East tussles
22 MEMPHIS, 7 p.m.
After never playing UConn, this is second meeting in 2 1/2 weeks
26 USF, noon CBSSN
Loss of the Smith sisters leaves the Bulls with some major holes to fill
28 at Temple  7 p.m.
UConn playing its first game at Temple since 1981
FEBRUARY
1 at Cincinnati  2 p.m.
Reunion of former UConn assistant coaches continues with Jamelle Elliott's Bearcats hosting the Huskies
 4 SMU, 7 p.m.
Keena Mays is one of best kept secrets in women's college basketball. That could change with big game against UConn
Sun. 9 LOUISVILLE, 1 p.m. ESPN
First of two national championship game rematches
Sun. 16 at USF , 4 p.m. CBSSN
Sort of bizarre scheduling as Huskies play in Tampa and then host Central Florida three days later.
Wed. 19 UCF, 7 p.m.
With four returning starters, Central Florida could be a team to watch in AAC
22 at Houston
Cougars feature nine players who stand 6-feet or taller
25 at SMU  8 p.m.
Texas swing concludes with Huskies' first game in Dallas
MARCH
1 RUTGERS, 4 p.m. CBSSN
Final regular-season home game for decorated UConn seniors Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley
3 at Louisville 7 p.m. ESPN2
Louisville's final regular-season game before leaving for the ACC could have championship implications


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