UConn-Texas women's basketball series pushed back a year
The UConn women’s basketball team could face Mississippi State during the 2020-21 season, but the Huskies will have to wait another year till they match up with the coach who guided the Bulldogs to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history.
The start of UConn’s home-and-home series with Texas has been postponed by one year at the request of the Longhorns. The Huskies will entertain Texas in 2021-22 and travel to Austin the following season to complete the contract.
On April 3, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte announced that coach Karen Aston’s contract would not be extended following the Longhorns’ 19-11 season. Two days later, Vic Schaefer was hired to replace Aston.
Schaefer led Mississippi State to its first two Final Four appearances in program history. On March 31, 2017, the Bulldogs stunned the Huskies 66-64 in overtime in Dallas on Morgan William’s buzzer-beater to end UConn’s NCAA record 111-game winning and its four-year reign as national champion.
The Huskies lead the series with the Longhorns 8-0 with the last game a 75-71 UConn victory in Austin on Jan. 15, 2018.
The delay also helps the Huskies as they now need to reschedule only one more contest to reach the NCAA limit for games in 2020-21. UConn’s move to the Big East and its 20-game league schedule compared to the American Athletic Conference’s 16-game league schedule had it over the limit.
The Huskies have contracts to host Arkansas-Little Rock, Dayton, Maryland, South Carolina, while visiting Baylor, California, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia in 2020-21. They will also take part in the Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge at Mohegan Sun Arena. UConn will face in-state foe Quinnipiac on Nov. 28 and either Mississippi State or Maine the next day. The Hall of Fame Challenge is considered a qualifying regular season multi-team event, meaning that it does not count against the regular season schedule limit.
UConn’s game at Tennessee has a date — Jan. 21. The Huskies defeated the Lady Vols 60-45 last January at the XL Center in the first meeting between the storied programs since 2007.
“Last year’s renewed rivalry against Tennessee was a great success,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement. “It was a great game and a fantastic atmosphere, and I think college basketball fans were excited to see UConn and Tennessee back on the court. I expect nothing less when we travel to Knoxville this season. I’m sure the fans in Rocky Top have missed me.”
UConn also has an exhibition home game set with Division II Fort Hays State. The Huskies’ staff is considering the option of playing a closed scrimmage against a Division I team rather than a second exhibition against a Division II or III opponent.
• Former forward and UConn graduate Batouly Camara was named one of seven recipients of the 2020 Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award, as announced at the ESPYs Sunday night. The nomination process for the honor selects and rewards young people for their leadership and commitment to improve their communities through sport.
Camara created a non-profit, Women and Kids Empowerment (WAKE), which holds clinics and workshops for kids and women internationally. In March, the New York native published a children’s book, “A Basketball Game on Wake Street.” Award winners receive either a one-time $10,000 college scholarship or direct a grant to an eligible nonprofit aligned with their work.
Camara finished her injury-plagued career with the Huskies in March. Last month, she received her masters degree in sports management.
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