UConn Faces Challenging Non-Conference Schedule in 2016-17. By Rich Elliott.
POSTED June 16, 2016
By Rich Elliott
UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma could have taken it easy this season in the wake of losing All-Americans Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck to graduation. The 2016-17 non-conference schedule could have been a bit less daunting than in previous years.
But as people learned long ago that is not Auriemma’s style. He wants to play the best teams every season no matter what his roster looks like. And this season will be no different as the four-time defending national champion Huskies will play a brutal 13-game schedule outside of The American.
UConn will face six teams that were ranked among the Top 9 in the final Associated Press national poll last season – Notre Dame (No. 2), South Carolina (No. 3), Baylor (No. 4), Maryland (No. 5), Texas (No. 7) and Ohio State (No. 9). Overall, 10 teams on the non-conference schedule appeared in the NCAA tournament.
The Huskies will battle the Irish (Dec. 7) and the Terrapins (Dec. 29) on the road, while hosting the Lady Bears (Nov. 17), the Buckeyes (Dec. 19) and the Gamecocks (Feb. 13). The game against Texas will be part of the Jimmy V Classic Dec. 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Jefferson, Stewart and Tuck provided 51.9 percent of the scoring, 41.5 percent of the rebounding and 60.2 percent of the assists for the Huskies (38-0) last season. Juniors Kia Nurse and Gabby Williams and sophomores Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are the top returning players.
UConn, which opens the season at Florida State Nov.14, will also welcome in freshmen Molly Bent, Crystal Dangerfield and Kyla Irwin.
2016-17 UConn Women’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 14 at Florida St.
Nov. 17 vs. Baylor
Nov. 20 at LSU
Nov. 22 vs. Dayton
Nov. 29 vs. Chattanooga
Dec. 1 vs. DePaul
Dec. 4 Jimmy V Classic vs. Texas at Mohegan Sun Arena, 4 p.m.
Dec. 7 at Notre Dame
Dec. 11 at Kansas State
Dec. 19 vs. Ohio State
Dec. 21 at Nebraska
Dec. 29 at Maryland
Feb. 13 vs. South Carolina