Good start to a busy few days for UConn women
Piscataway, N.J. - Geno Auriemma wasn't a huge fan of having to play Rutgers two days before a showdown with top-ranked Baylor.
He knows that it will help his team in the end as the setup is similar to what his third-ranked Huskies will see in the NCAA tournament.
"The Big East thinks we're Superman. We can play at Rutgers Saturday, then have to play Baylor on Monday because we're better than everyone else, we can handle that," Auriemma said. "That's what happens in the NCAA tournament. You play a tough game on a Saturday or Sunday and then play another one two days later. They've helped us over the years and they'll help us this year."
Morgan Tuck scored 15 points and Stefanie Dolson added 14 to help UConn beat Rutgers 65-45 on Saturday, denying coach C. Vivian Stringer of her 900th victory.
Stringer won No. 899 last Saturday against Cincinnati and has lost her first two attempts to become the fourth women's basketball coach to reach the milestone. The Hall of Fame coach was looking to join Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell, who reached the mark last week.
"I'll be glad to get it over with," Stringer said. "I can't begin to share with you the stress that it is - not in a negative way. We're trying to fight hard to see how we can live and survive in the Big East to do that. I haven't even talked to the team about the pressure of that. Even when my sister talks to me I don't want to talk about it."
Stringer's next try will be Tuesday at No. 23 Syracuse.
UConn (24-1, 11-1) has its own big game on Monday night with the showdown against No. 1 Baylor.
It wasn't long ago that Rutgers (14-10, 5-6) was a thorn in the side of Connecticut, going 5-4 against the Huskies from 2005-08. That's not the case anymore as the Huskies have won the past 10 meetings.
The Scarlet Knights knocked off the Huskies to win the 2007 Big East tournament. A 73-71 victory win the next season was Rutgers' last against UConn.
For 10 minutes the Scarlet Knights took it right at the Huskies. Rutgers led 14-4 nearly 5½ minutes in as Auriemma pulled four of his five starters.
"We had a game plan going in and one of the things that we wanted to make sure of we didn't do," Auriemma said. "I thought that all we did right those first four minutes was foul."
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