UConn women begin two-game southern swing in Memphis
Hartford — Megan Walker won’t get the chance to travel to Florida when Spring Break 2020 comes around, since she hopes the UConn women’s basketball team will be preparing for its NCAA Tournament game.
So the junior forward will settle for the Huskies’ trip south to Memphis and Orlando for two games this week before spring semester classes begin on Jan. 22.
“I like the idea of being in Florida, though I don’t know about the hotel part,” Walker said with a laugh. “I’d rather be in my own bed. But we’re looking forward to it. We’re still on break, no school. It’s chance to keep moving in the right direction.”
UConn headed to Memphis today coming off Saturday’s 91-51 rout of Houston at the XL Center. The Huskies (13-1 overall, 4-0 American Athletic Conference) meet the Tigers on Tuesday (8 p.m., SNY) then get on a plane right after the game for Thursday’s contest at Central Florida.
High temperatures are expected to be around 80 degrees in Orlando.
“That would be lovely,” UConn guard Crystal Dangerfield said with a smile. “But this is what NCAA Tournament play ends up being like — you’re away from campus playing two games in three days. Having to get tough road wins in the conference, it will be interesting to see how we do.”
Memphis (9-7, 0-3) lost at Tulane 58-55 Saturday. UCF (9-5, 1-1) played its last game before hosting the Huskies on Sunday and was beaten soundly at Cincinnati 81-64.
For coach Geno Auriemma, the trip comes at a perfect time.
“I love road games in January,” he said. “I like being off-campus. I like them being together. I like when it’s an extended road trip where you’re not out, back and then back out. I like when our extended trips come from Jan. 1-Jan. 21. This comes at a great time for us. I think we can get a lot done on this trip both physically and mentally.”
Once UConn returns to UCF, it will have an extended stay at home with the exception of a quick trip to East Carolina for the Jan. 25 contest. The Huskies will play 6-of-7 games at home — including the exhibition against the United States national team — before traveling to South Carolina Feb. 10.
Notes: UConn's three-week reign as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll ended Monday when the Huskies dropped to No. 4. South Carolina is the new No. 1 followed by Baylor and Stanford. … Assistant coach Jasmine Lister (illness) was not at the XL Center Saturday … Auriemma said there was still no timetable for Batouly Camara to make her season debut. The fifth-year senior has been sidelined with a knee injury.
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Megan Walker scored 19 points and Crystal Dangerfield sparked a big first-half rally, leading No. 4 Connecticut to a 59-52 win over Central Florida