Legendary women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma was not pleased with the first-half officiating in Connecticut’s matchup with Tennessee Thursday night.
The Huskies jumped out to a 33-17 lead over the Vols after the first quarter but allowed Tennessee to get back into the game before the end of the half in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Vols outscored UConn 19-7 in the second quarter, sending Auriemma’s Huskies into the locker room with just a four-point lead.
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The 11-time national championship-winning coach was not happy.
“How do I address it? How do I address it!? You don’t address it,” Auriemma said at halftime when asked how he would address his team allowing Tennessee to get to the free-throw line in the first-half.
“This is what you get when you come down here. The game was called one way and then changed. Nothing else changed. We didn’t change. Nothing else changed.”
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The Huskies were called for eight fouls in the second quarter as the Vols went on a run to keep the game close.
While Auriemma was unhappy heading into halftime, he exited the arena pleased as his Huskies defeated Tennessee, 84-67.
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UConn outscored the Lady Vols 28-19 in the third quarter, getting 26 points from Lou Lopez Senechal in the win.
“It was tough to slow (UConn) down,” Tennessee coach Kellie Harper said. “They were making every open shot and some tough ones.”
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The win moved UConn to 19-2 on the season as the Vols dropped to 16-7.
The two storied programs are headed in different directions as the Vols started the season at No. 5 in the preseason rankings before dropping out completely.
“I don’t know if we could recreate the rivalry we’ve had (in the past),” Auriemma said. “This is as good a nonconference game you can play anywhere.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.