If UConn never plays at the Rutgers Athletic Center again, and it may not for years, Sunday’s game ended a memorable era as road warriors for the Huskies.
They don’t call this place The RAC for nothing, you know. And during the C. Vivian Stringer era, this place and her teams often inflicted medieval pain on UConn, stretching the eight-time national champion with methodical torture.
Cappie Pondexter and Linda Miles, among other antagonists, took pleasure poking – sometimes literally – the UConn program.
However, the finale did not follow the usual script. There was no pain. Just a lot of gain as UConn ran to its 94-64 win.
“It was one of the better games we’ve played here in a very long time,” Geno Aureimma said. “But it didn’t even feel like we were at Rutgers. I don’t know what’s been going one. The last two games [at Baylor and Rutgers]… maybe the fans feel sorry for me now that I am getting older. When I was younger they didn’t treat me like that.”
Unless UConn is admitted to the Big 10, where Rutgers is headed after this season, Sunday was the last time the Huskies will cross the Raritan River to play the Scarlet Knights.
“I would say we’ll never play here again,” Auriemma said. “I talk to Vivian [Stringer] all the time about this stuff. I don’t imagine it will be the last time we play here. I think it’s a good thing to bring your team to a place where you will play against a great defensive team.”
Problem is, Stringer, the Hall of Fame coach, is on the last year of her contract and there has been no indication, either way, if she will be asked to return.