HARTFORD, Conn. — The latest chapter in the UConn-Tennessee rivalry was different for Geno Auriemma. Pat Summitt was no longer on the sideline for the Lady Vols.

“It wasn’t the same. I miss having her there,” an emotional Auriemma said after UConn’s 60-45 victory Thursday night. “I miss looking forward to having her there.”

Crystal Dangerfield scored 14 points and No. 3 UConn used a dominant third quarter to beat 23rd-ranked Tennessee in the first matchup in 13 years between the teams whose rivalry dominated the sport for over a decade.

Trailing by three at the half, the Huskies (17-1) scored 17 of the first 19 points in the third quarter, taking a 45-33 lead on Dangerfield’s 3-pointer with 1:45 left in the period. UConn led by 11 after three and Tennessee got no closer in the fourth quarter.

“I felt like they came out with a different intensity defensively in the second half,” Tennessee Coach Kellie Harper said. “The game plan might have changed a little bit. … We lost our composure in the third quarter.”

Rennia Davis scored 16 points to lead the Lady Vols (15-4). They had only 14 points in the second half – the lowest total in program history.


“It was a great to play in this environment with the history between both programs,” Davis said.

Thursday night provided a little bit of nostalgia for those who remembered how these two teams carried women’s basketball for over a decade since their first historic meeting in 1995 that was a 1 vs 2 showdown. They played 22 times over a 12-year span, with each one being a circle-the-calendar game whether it was in Tennessee, Connecticut or the NCAA Tournament.

“It felt good seeing them out there playing. Obviously, look down the sidelines and its completely different on the sidelines and the floor. Only thing similar was their uniforms,” Auriemma said. “I got texts from lots of people that it was great for women’s basketball. I guess. Things change, everything has a cycle. Could it still be something special? Who knows?”

The series ended after the 2007 season when Summitt called it off. Geno Auriemma said at the time that Summitt had accused the Huskies of a recruiting violation. Summitt never went public into specifics about why she ended the series. She died in 2016 at age 64 of Alzheimer’s disease.

Former Tennessee coach Holly Warlick, a longtime assistant of Summitt’s who helped set up Thursday’s game, told The AP that the reason she agreed to restart the series was because it will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation. The two teams will play in Knoxville next season. Proceeds from both games will go to it, along with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

UConn donated $10,000 to Summitt’s foundation with Auriemma and Harper taking part in a ceremony at the half. The Huskies also are auctioning off the black uniforms they wore for the game with the proceeds going to the foundation.


“That’s kind of the only reason that this game came about,” said Auriemma about raising money for the foundation.

The game was part of the We Back Pat week in honor of Summitt. Both teams wore shirts honoring her. Tennessee got off to a fast start, scoring 10 of the first points. The Lady Vols led 16-14 after one quarter. They extended the lead to eight before holding a 31-28 advantage at the half. It was a sloppy opening 20 minutes with the two teams combining for 24 turnovers.

(5) LOUISVILLE 71, VIRGINIA 56: Dana Evans scored 21 points and the Cardinals (19-1, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)  topped the visiting Cavaliers (7-12, 2-6)  for their 11th straight win.

The Cardinals used a 16-2 run over a nearly seven-minute stretch in the first half to take control.

(8) N.C. STATE 88, PITTSBURGH 44: Jakia Brown-Turner scored 13 points and the Wolfpack (18-1, 7-1 in ACC) used a 30-4 scoring outburst in the third quarter to beat the Panthers (3-15, 0-7) at Pittsburgh.

(14) FLORIDA STATE 70, WAKE FOREST 65: River Baldwin scored all 12 of her points in the second half to help the visiting Seminoles (16-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) top the Demon Deacons.


(15) TEXAS A & M 79, ALABAMA 74: N’dea Jones had her seventh consecutive double-double, Aaliyah Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds to play and the visiting Aggies (16-3, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to beat the Crimson Tide (11-8, 1-5).

(17) INDIANA 76, PENN STATE 60: Ali Patberg had 18 points and nine assists and Gorham’s Mackenzie Holmes to lead the Hoosiers (15-5, 5-3 Big Ten) over the Nittany Lions (7-12, 1-7) at University Park, Pennsylvania.

(20) MARYLAND 79, ILLINOIS 60: Kaila Charles had 20 points and nine rebounds to help the visiting Terrapins (15-4, 6-2 Big Ten) top the Illini (10-9, 1-7) for their fourth straight win.

GEORGIA 54, (21) ARKANSAS 55: Gabby Connally scored 18 points and the visiting Bulldogs (12-7, 3-3 Southeastern Conference)  bridged the third and fourth quarters with a 15-0 run to defeat the Razorbacks (15-4, 3-3).

(22) NORTHWESTERN 76, MICHIGAN STATE 48: Lindsey Pulliam and Veronica Burton scored 22 points apiece as the visiting Wildcats (17-2, 7-1 Big Ten) topped the Spartans (11-8, 4-4) for their fifth straight win.

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