Women’s Basketball Preview – Duke at Connecticut
On paper, Monday's Duke-Connecticut match up at Gampel Pavilion looks even. UConn is 16-1 and Duke is 16-0. In the College Sports Madness Top 25 Duke is ranked #1 while Connecticut is at # 4. But games aren't played on paper and the game looks a lot like the game played in January, 2012 at Duke. At the time, UConn was ranked #3 and Duke #5. UConn won 61-45 and it was easier win than the score indicated. Duke did not score for 11:58 of the second half. Their star, Elizabeth Williams was 3-15 from the field. In 2010 it was even worse. UConn won 87-51 at home. As a matter of fact, Duke has not won since 2006 when it beat UConn 63-61 in the Elite 8 in Bridgeport. At the time Duke was coached by Gail Goestenkors but Duke is now coached by Joanne P. McCallie.
No one would have predicted that Duke would be the only undefeated team in the country on January 21. Maybe Baylor or maybe UConn, but Duke?
Williams is having an All-American season, leading the Blue Devils in many categories. She feels that the team can contend for a National Championship. UConn is deeper and probably more talented. Breanna Stewart is the best freshman in the country and Stefanie Dolson would be the best center in the country but for Brittney Griner. Bria Hartley, who led UConn against Duke with 15 last year, is playing up to expectations. But the real difference is on the bench. Geno Auriemma goes into the game expecting UConn to win, especially at home. McCallie must have her doubts, especially since she has never beaten UConn while at Duke.
It should be a closer game than the past few, but UConn will beat Duke at home.