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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Syracuse hot-shot freshman Cooper familiar with UConn fans

Precocious Syracuse freshman Gabby Cooper finds humor in her seating selection during last year's national title game even almost a year later.

As a native of Lansing, Illinois, it was an easy decision for Cooper's family to buy tickets to the 2016 Final Four after Syracuse punched their ticket. However, getting a spot in the Syracuse section proved to be a little more difficult that anticipated.

"The first game we got those tickets late so I sat in the second section kind of behind the rim," Cooper said. "For the UConn game, (Cooper's mother) went to buy the tickets. I have a two-year-old niece and she started to act up as she was in the middle of buying tickets. When she came back to  buy tickets, all the seats by the Orange were sold out so we actually sat in the middle of the UConn section right behind the UConn bench basically."

Hold on, a Syracuse commit is watching UConn beat the Orange while sitting a couple of rows behind the bench?

"It was kind of weird because everywhere you look everybody has on Navy (blue) and everybody has UConn gear," Cooper said with a laugh. "My trainer from back home, he trained Morgan Tuck so he was there, my family and it was all WNBA players who played for UConn, they were right behind us. it was kind of weird. We had our Orange and blue on."

UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey was a bit on the nervous side as she watched the final moments as Quinnipiac held on for an upset win over Big East tournament champion Marquette to become the first double-digit seed to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"I am so happy for them," Dailey said. "I ran into Trish at a game (on the recruiting trail), we text back and forth and she thought her staff might come up to maybe watch a practice. I was nervous on that 3 (by Marquette that rattled in and out at the buzzer) but as soon as it was over, I texted her.

"She has done a great job. I am so old that I remember her as a player, I remember her back in the day at Fairfield. She is one of the good people in the game. She does it the right way, she works hard, she has a philosophy and she sticks with it and you have to admire that. It is great for women's basketball
to have two teams in our state win their first game and move forward."


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