The last time the UConn women played in this tournament was in 2007, Maya Moore’s freshman season. The Huskies beat No. 4 Stanford (66-54), Old Dominion (86-43) and No. 9 Duke (74-48) on three consecutive nights.
The competition this season features just team, No. 14 Purdue, in the Top 25.
“The field doesn’t matter [to UConn],” Geno Auriemma said. “I knew we had a good team when we went there the last time and we came out feeling like we could beat anyone in the country. Then injuries hit [Mel Thomas and Kalana Greene were lost for the season with knee injuries] and when we got to the Final Four we weren’t the same team.”
The Huskies, who were 36-1 heading to Tampa that season, lost to Stanford in the semifinals, 83-72. … Auriemma will appear at UConn’s School of Business Tuesday at 10 a.m. to announce the launching of a new leadership initiative that he will collaborate on with the school. UConn President Susan Herbst will also attend along with officials from the business school and the UConn Foundation. … The Huskies have not lost a game in a regular-season tournament since Vanderbilt defeated it, 57-37, in the 1992 Hilton Head Super Shootout. This is UConn’s first tropical tourney since the 2008 Carribean Classic in Cancun.
In other Paradise Jam action, South Carolina defeated Hampton, 45-34, in a Reef Division game. Aleighsa Welch led the Gamecocks (5-0) with 16 points. Also in the Reef, Brittany Hrynko scored 18 points and Katherine Harry had 12 rebounds to lead DePaul (4-1) to a 60-58 win over Florida Gulf Coast. … The Huskies outrebounded Wake Forest, 43-26, and forced 24 turnovers that led to 27 UConn points. The Huskies bench outscored the Demon Deacons, 41-8.