Geno Auriemma's Huskies get back to work on Monday when they host the Duke Blue Devils at the XL Center. And as the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla points out, it will be the last time UConn faces a top-10 opponent until Feb. 9 when they face South Carolina.
The Blue Devils are 8-3 and coming off a win over No. 8 Kentucky.
"It's always a big game with Duke, no matter where it's played," said senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. "It's one of those rivalries where you understand that the opponent will always come out tough at the beginning and try hit first. Then it's a matter of how we respond and play for the entire 40 minutes."
And while the two teams last played in Hartford in 2004, it will be their last regular-season meeting for the foreseeable future. Why? Altavilla writes that only the coaches know the true reasons. "[N]atural tensions have accumulated while sparring for recruits and national titles. Most recently, Duke has won some [freshman Sierra Calhoun] and UConn has won others [freshman Courtney Ekmark]."
Here's Auriemma: "I thought the series was enjoyable. We've had some great games against Duke … It's always been a great trip for us to play at Cameron. The crowds were always great; the intensity level has always been there.
"It's been one-sided lately, but there have been many great moments, great things we've done, not-so-great things we've done against them. It's always been a game that we've looked forward to, for sure. It's a shame they don't want to play [anymore]."