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Two UConn women's basketball games postponed, including Wednesday's

UConn coach Geno Auriemma spent a good amount of time after Saturday's victory over Providence speaking about inconsistency, his voice tinged with frustration and a note of seriousness.

It started with him discussing the outstanding effort by sophomore Aubrey Griffin in the 87-50 win over the Friars — she finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots — and why she doesn't play like that every game.

"I have no idea. I really don't," Auriemma said toward the tail end of the mini-sermon. "That's really with a lot of players. In today's world, the circumstances we're living in right now and how it is, everybody's like this. They're up, they're down. You just don't know what you're going to get.

"You just don't."

And Tuesday didn't help the situation any, as the UConn women's basketball team had its next two games postponed due to concerns regarding COVID-19.

The first announcement, around 10 a.m., came that Saturday's matchup with Villanova was postponed after the Villanova team was forced to pause due to coronavirus issues within the program.

The second bulletin was posted about 3:15 p.m. and read that Wednesday's UConn-Seton Hall game, scheduled to take place at 4:30 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion, was being postponed out of an abundance of caution after UConn played Providence on Saturday and Providence then shut down its program due to COVID-19.

It's the fourth game in the last two weeks that has been canceled or postponed for the fourth-ranked Huskies, who are scheduled to play three games next week. UConn is slated to play Butler on Jan. 19 at Gampel Pavilion, at Tennessee on Jan. 21 and at home vs. Georgetown on Jan. 23.

In addition to Villanova and Providence, five other Big East Conference teams have undergone shutdowns of late with St. John's, Marquette, Creighton, Xavier and Georgetown. UConn canceled or postponed its first four games of the season after dealing with a positive COVID test within the program during the preseason.

"All you can do is the best you can do and keep your fingers crossed," Auriemma said on Jan. 5, when it was announced that UConn's top-10 matchup at No. 7 Baylor was canceled due to a COVID-related matter. "It's just unfortunate. I don't even want to go beyond that and talk about all of the disruptions and all of the disappointments that kids have faced and everybody's faced."

UConn is 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big East. Teams need to play at least 13 games to be eligible for the NCAA tournament.

"We all want to be in a game situation," Auriemma said last week, "uniforms on and playing, playing somebody else, keeping score, officials, it matters in the standings. This practice, practice, practice and very few opportunities to actually work on what you're practicing is very frustrating, as much for me as it is for the players, no question about it."

"I mean, we expected to play (last Thursday) against Baylor," UConn freshman Paige Bueckers said. "We were all disappointed when we heard that news. We just tried to keep working hard in practice, we just tried to get our bodies and our minds right for (Saturday vs. Providence) and all the games that are coming. I think we all just try to stay together and stick together and stay positive. Every day we get is a blessing."

v.fulkerson@theday.com

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