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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A little history for UConn today

There was a time when opening the season against a nationally-ranked team was nearly an annual occurrence for the UConn women's basketball team.

Four times in a six-year span the Huskies kicked off the season against ranked foes losing 83-81 in overtime to Louisiana Tech (in Knoxville) in 1995, beating No. 8 Western Kentucky 74-56 in 1996, beating No. 4 Duke 104-74 in 1998 and defeating No. 3 Georgia  99-70 in 2000. The Western Kentucky and Duke contests were played in California while the game against Georgia was in Hartford. I went looking through the UConn media guide to find the last time the Huskies opened the season with a true road game against a ranked opponent and it doesn't look like it has ever happened - until today when the Huskies play at No. 6 Ohio State.

"Those are the kinds of things this team needs to be doing to be honest with you," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We need to put ourselves in as many situations as possible that are not necessarily ideal. If we played Ohio State in the middle of January on Monday night it wouldn't be an easy game, the fact that it is your first game makes it challenging and that is good because this particular group needs it, wants it, wants that kind of challenge. The young guys are going to be a little bit nervous but it is good for them to get thrown into the deep end right away. I've always said that there is no down side to playing these kinds of games early in the season, late in the season so you might as well play them."

The players are certainly looking forward to the season-opening test.

"I think it is good," redshirt junior Morgan Tuck said. "Instead, most teams have some sort of if you want to call it an easy game at home and win by a lot and it is good to get a good game early. I think it is good to kind of test yourself and see if what you are doing has prepared you for a big game."
Ohio State isn't messing around with its schedule to start the season as the Buckeyes opened with an 88-80 loss on the road to No. 2 South Carolina and now face the top-ranked Huskies.

"That wasn't the best scheduling I have ever done but I wanted to play both teams," Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. "Certainly Connecticut has been the best team in college basketball for quite some time and I wanted to give our kids a chance to measure themselves against them and South Carolina recently have been terrific, they have a great team and a great coach so I wanted to play them both. We got the South Carolina game scheduled and when we started looking at a date for Connecticut, ESPN said we'd put it on TV if we did it on Monday. I didn't want to pass on that opportunity and where we are with our program and building, that is a great chance to play the best team in the country on TV so that is kind of how it shook out in having to play our first two games against the top two rated teams in the country."
UConn is 24-6 against ranked teams in the month of November. What makes the number even more impressive is that the Huskies lost three of their first four November games against ranked opponents.

UCONN'S RANKED GAMES IN NOVEMBER
(home team in ALL CAPS)
Nov. 28, 1989: No. 11 IOWA 81, UConn  49
Nov. 29, 1990: No. 11 Iowa 58, No. 23 UCONN 41
Nov. 30, 1991: No. 15 UConn 63, No. 24 Louisiana Tech 61 (at Honolulu)
Nov. 19, 1995: No. 4 Louisiana Tech 83, No. 1 UConn 81 (at Knoxville)
Nov. 17, 1996: No. 5 UConn 74, No. 8 Western Kentucky 56 (at Palo Alto)
Nov. 21, 1997: No. 6 UCONN 71, No. 21 Nebraska 61
Nov. 25, 1997: No. 3 UCONN 65, No. 20 Iowa 55
Nov. 13, 1998: No. 3 UConn 104, No. 4 Duke 74 (at San Jose)
Nov. 14 1998: No. 3 UConn 100, No. 18 Arkansas 74 (at San Jose)
Nov. 17, 1998: No. 2 UConn 113, No. 14 UCLA 102
Nov. 26, 1999: No. 1 UCONN 109, No. 14 Old Dominion 66
Nov. 30., 1999:No. 1 UCONN 100, No. 10 Illinois 79
Nov. 12, 2000: No. 1 UCONN 99, No. 3 Georgia 70
Nov. 18, 2001: No. 1 UCONN 69, No. 3 Vanderbilt 50
Nov. 21, 2004: No. 9 North Carolina 71, No. 4 UCONN 65 (at Raleigh, N.C.)
Nov. 20, 2005: No. 9 UCONN 82, No. 25 Oklahoma 62
Nov. 30, 2006: No. 7 UCONN 66, No. 9 Purdue 55
Nov. 22, 2007: No. 2 UConn 66, No. 4 Stanford 54 (at U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 25, 2007: No. 2 UConn 74, No. 9 Duke 48 (at U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 30, 2008: No. 1 UCONN 106, No. 4 Oklahoma 78
Nov. 17, 2009: No. 1 UConn 83, No. 10 Texas 58 (at San Antonio)
Nov. 16, 2010: No. 1 UCONN 65, No. 2 Baylor 64
Nov. 21, 2011: No. 2 UCONN 68, No. 3 Stanford 58
Nov. 18, 2012: No. 2 UCONN 81, No. 16 TEXAS A&M 50
Nov. 24, 2012: No. 2 UCONN 91, No. 14 Purdue 57 (at U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 11, 2013: No. 1 UCONN 76, No. 3 Stanford 57
Nov. 15, 2013: No. 1 UConn 72, No. 8 MARYLAND 55
Nov. 17, 2013: No. 1 UConn 71, No. 13 PENN STATE 52
Nov. 17, 2014: No. 6 STANFORD 88, No. 1 UConn 86

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