As the season progressed, however, the team quickly found its rhythm, beating ranked teams like Baylor, Notre Dame and Maryland, and showcasing a talented core of young players. Sale joined the WNBA in 1998. She continued on to play in the WNBA from 1999 until she retired in 2004. UConn has featured a great number of star players, All-Americans, Hall of Famers and recipients of individual trophies. She finished her time at UConn with 3036 points for an average of 19.7 points per game.  In the National semifinals played at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa UConn lost to Stanford, ending its season with a 36–2 record. The loss ended the highly publicized winning streak, as well as their long held spot as the top ranked team in women's basketball which was taken over by Baylor.  As a consequence, Taurasi had to play a much larger role than anticipated in the NCAA Tournament. The sports under consideration were the four major professional sports (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL) along with the three most prominent college sports: football, men's basketball and women's basketball. Some of its highly touted recruits did not play up to expectations while others suffered injuries. In her career at UConn, Taurasi led the team to four consecutive Final Fours and three straight national titles. The 2004–05 season was marked with sloppy play and ragged offense; UConn lost 8 games and failed to win the Big East regular season crown for the first time since 1993.  With Shea Ralph and senior Nykesha Sales out for the entire season, freshman Svetlana Abrosimova led a young UConn team to the NCAA Tournament Regional Final where they eventually lost to North Carolina State 60–52. The national championship game against Stanford was a completely different story. Despite the two regular season meetings being close battles, UConn used tenacious defense and backdoor cuts to overwhelm Tennessee 71–52 for their second national championship. Rallying from a 14-point deficit in the NCAA regional final they beat conference rival Rutgers and advanced to their first Final Four since Taurasi graduated.  UConn blew out Stanford in the semifinals behind Wolters' 31 points, reaching the championship game for a rematch against Tennessee. She scored her 2,000th point as a junior. In 2010 Sports Illustrated selected the top 25 sports franchises of the decade 2000–2009. , Auriemma pulled off another huge recruiting coup when he convinced All-American guard Diana Taurasi to travel across country to attend Connecticut. Wolters played from 1993-1997. Auriemma's training skills had an immediate impact and the team showed steady signs of progress: after going 12–15 in his first season in 1985–86, Auriemma led UConn to winning seasons in 1986–87 and 1987–88. Saylor Poffenbarger was the first recruit from the Class of 2021 to commit to play for the UConn women’s basketball team. In the Final Four UConn was finally challenged by Baylor and the 6-foot-8 freshman Brittney Griner; Baylor trailed 39–26 at halftime but UConn finally pulled away for a final score of 70–50. She was also selected to the All-Big East Tournament Team for the third consecutive season. The UConn Huskies have returned to a familiar place in the national rankings, climbing to No. Rizzotti was a member of the inaugural class of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program. At the time of her injury, she was only one point shy of Kerry Bascom's school scoring record. In the NCAA tournament UConn reached the Elite Eight but came up short in its hopes to make it back to the Final Four, losing to eventual champion North Carolina. She played in the WNBA from 1997-2003. , Auriemma pulled off one of his biggest and most important early recruiting successes in 1987 when he convinced an All American from New Hampshire, Kerry Bascom, to come to UConn. Needless to say, we left a lot of other notable names out of this starting 5, but … The Huskies can’t afford an off night from Bueckers at this point, which is a lot to ask. She’ll also be the first member of the class to wear a Huskies uniform. Moore played at UConn from 2007-2011. Photo: UConn Athletics / Contributed Photo 20 Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Jr., F, 6-5: Solid defender and rim-protector averaged 8.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks last season, but more importantly, showed an ability to stay on the floor despite foul trouble. After just one winning season in 10 years under coaches Sandra Hamm (1974–75), Wanda Flora (1975–80) and Jean Balthaser (1980–85), UConn hired as their new head coach the Italian-born Geno Auriemma, who had served as assistant coach at Virginia, with the goal of revitalizing the program. In 1995 Lobo join the national team, which later became the US team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA where her team won gold. Played point guard from 1992-1996. She led the Huskies to a 36–2 record the 2007-2008 season. She would go on to play for the gold medal winning World University Game Team in 1991. The 66–61 loss was UConn's first of the season, but not its last. , The Huskies have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 31 times, every year since their first appearance in 1989. With Taurasi joining the core of the 2000 Championship team, Auriemma confidently predicted another championship in 2001, but the season turned out to be more difficult than expected. , After three down years by UConn standards, the team emerged as a heavy contender for the championship in the 2008 season. Conference regular season and conference tournament champion Geno Auriemma is now the only coach in college basketball to have won 11 titles, passing UCLA legend John Wooden (who has 10) and reaching former NBA coach Phil Jackson. Taurasi was the third basketball player to receive this final honor, after former UConn star Rebecca Lobo and Tennessee star Chamique Holdsclaw. , Senior Breanna Stewart was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player for a record 4th straight time; she also performed a back-to-back sweep of all individual honors, winning her 2nd straight Wade Trophy, a record 3rd Associated Press Women's College Basketball Player of the Year award, a record 3rd USBWA Women's National Player of the Year award, a record 3rd Naismith College Player of the Year award and her 2nd straight John R. Wooden Award. High school All-Americans Swin Cash, Tamika Williams, Sue Bird, Asjha Jones, and Keirsten Walters were dubbed "TASSK Force" by Connecticut fans, using the players' initials.  Notre Dame went on to the National Championship Game, but were defeated by the Texas A&M Aggies. In his 34 years as head coach of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, the Italian-born Luigi "Geno" Auriemma has inextricably linked his name with that of the team.  She was also named to the 1996-97 and 1997-98 Kodak All-America teams. Coach Auriemma is one of the best coaches in college basketball: his 1091–142 (.885) record as of March 2020[update] represents the highest winning percentage among NCAA basketball coaches (minimum 10 seasons), any level, men's or women's, while ranking him third in all-time women's wins behind former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt and current Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. The banners strung from the rafters atop Amalie Arena listing the women's champions since 2000 speak of dominance: UConn in 2000, from 2002-04, in 2009 and 2010, from 2013-16. In 2003 she was awarded the Nancy Lieberman Award, Wade Trophy, Naismith College Player of the Year, NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player and the Honda Sports Award. Her fifth rebound made her the all-time leading rebounder at UConn. She was selected second overall in the 2002 WNBA draft. After graduating from college in California, Wanda Flora went to graduate school at Indiana University, where she was an assistant coach for the women's basketball team and coached the junior varsity team. Stewart finished with 2,676 points (2nd Husky ever), 1,179 rebounds (4th Husky ever), 426 assists and 414 blocked shots (1st Husky ever), and was a #1 pick in 2016 WNBA draft. More than 100 colleges recruited Lobo, but she chose UConn and played there from 1991-1995. When she graduated there was no WNBA but she went overseas to play in Spain for only a year. Maya Moore, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Katie Lou Samuelson, Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck, and Gabby Williams; centers Kerry Bascom, Tina Charles, Stefanie Dolson, Rebecca Lobo, and Kara Wolters. , After losing the stellar trio of Stewart, Jefferson and Tuck, many predicted a sub-par season for UConn standards; the AP Poll ranked the team third in the nation, and coach Auriemma had designed a very tough non-conference calendar to test the strength of his young team. Here the team upset heavily favored ACC power North Carolina State in the Sweet 16, and then defeated Clemson 60–57 to advance to their first-ever Final Four, also a first for any Big East school. In the NCAA tournament Final Four UConn met Notre Dame for the fourth time of the season, with the underdog Fighting Irish prevailing and ending UConn's bid for a third straight national championship. After the 1995 Championship title, UConn rose to national prominence as one of the powerhouses in women's college basketball, giving coach Auriemma the chance to recruit star talents from high school like Shea Ralph in 1996 and Svetlana Abrosimova in 1997.  Moriah Jefferson finished with a program-record 659 assists and a back-to-back Nancy Lieberman Award as best point guard in the nation. Although the entire team returned and expectations were sky high for a "three-peat" in Taurasi's senior year, UConn had an uneven season. University of Connecticut women's basketball has suspended team activities after a member of the program tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Monday. The official 2020-21 Women's Basketball Roster for the University of Connecticut Huskies She was the first Husky to be recognized in the "Huskies of Honor" while still playing in a Husky uniform. Led by juniors Stewart and Jefferson and senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, UConn quickly recovered winning every other season game, including a 76–58 win against rival Notre Dame. , The 2017–2018 season was very similar to the previous one. Diana was a member of the inaugural class of inductees to the University of Connecticut women's basketball "Huskies of Honor" recognition program. UConn finished the regular season undefeated for the 5th time in school history with a 30–0 record. The No. They marched through the Big East tournament, including their 3rd victory of the year over Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament Championship Game. During her time at UConn, her team compiled a record of 139 wins and 8 losses. With a perfect 35–0 record, UConn became only the fifth Division I women's basketball team to go undefeated en route to a national championship, and only the second in the NCAA era (since 1982). Lobo helped UConn to its first national championship with an undefeated season in 1995. In the 1999 meeting at Gampel Pavilion, Tennessee prevailed again. She was also named the 2000 Naismith and Parade Magazine National High School Player of the Year. , Sandra Hamm, a Terryville native, was employed part-time as the interim women's coach in the 1974–1975 season, when the team was 2–8. Surprise, surprise. Rizzotti was a member of the Jones Cup team representing the USA in 1996. UConn started the game with its worst first half in school history by scoring only 12 points; only 11 teams in tournament history have been held to 12 points or less in the first half: three of them were against UConn teams, and two of them (Southern and Temple) just days earlier in the 2010 Tournament. The UConn women’s team has had 38 players go into the WNBA with 14 of these players being selected as All-Stars and four players winning the WNBA MVP Award. Tip off is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Sales then held the school scoring record. They completed a seven-season tenure in the American Athletic Conference in 2019–20, and joined the Big East Conference for the 2020-21 season. Tennessee defeated Connecticut again in the 1997–98 regular season. In 1990 she led them to the programs first NCAA Tournament win and in 1991 the first ever NCAA Final Four appearance. In the final game UConn found itself in early trouble when Lobo was called for three personal fouls in 94 seconds in the first half, but in the second half the team was able to rally from a 9-point deficit and a key Rizzotti layup gave UConn the lead with less than 2 minutes to go, a lead that the team kept until the final score of 70–64 and their first national title. UConn won the Big East Tournament over Notre Dame in a game remembered for the Bird at the Buzzer shot, but lost key players Abrosimova and Ralph to season-ending injuries. UConn's current head coach is Luigi "Geno" Auriemma, who joined the team in 1985. Visit ESPN to view the UConn Huskies Women's Basketball Team Roster. Bascom was hit with early foul trouble and Virginia held off a late UConn rally. 1 team in The Associated Press women's college basketball poll after blowing out its two opponents last week. UConn defeated 79–58 Notre Dame (hindered by the loss of one of their stars, Natalie Achonwa, who had torn her ACL in the Elite Eight), to finish the season 40–0, tying Baylor for the most wins in a season and setting the new record for Championship with nine. She was named Final Four MOP and one of the 10 players on the State Farm All-America team during Final Four weekend. 24 . She was awarded the prestigious Honda-Broderick Cup for 1995-96. Lobo was the first player in the Big East Conference ever to earn first team all American honors for both basketball and academics. The remaining teams of the former Big East (Connecticut and Cincinnati) joined the new American Athletic Conference (The American or AAC), thus ending the UConn–Notre Dame rivalry in conference tournaments. Even if both coaches remained vague and unspecific about the reasons of the cancellation, Tennessee filed a complaint to the NCAA about UConn's recruitment of Moore. Together with sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson and junior Kia Nurse, the only returning starters, the duo of sophomore Napheesa Collier and junior Gabby Williams quickly rose to national attention; even senior Saniya Chong, who had played few minutes in her first three seasons, showed great improvements, leading the nation in assists-to-turnovers ratio. The following table shows the UConn players recipients of the major individual awards in women's college basketball. After she graduated Moore went on the dominate the WNBA where she still plays today. 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