Huskies will bring ‘ConnFLICT’ trophy to UCF game

connflict trophyWith the addition of a few tweaks, UConn football coach Bob Diaco is still planning to bring a rivalry trophy with him to Florida on Saturday when the Huskies play UCF.

The coach and his team were the subject of Internet ridicule after his office posted a photo on Twitter in June of a trophy it had commissioned for the third annual game between the American Athletic Conference schools, which Diaco had dubbed “The Civil Conflict,” a north-south AAC rivalry.

UCF officials played no part in creating a “rivalry” game, noting they already have a conference rival in South Florida.

But that has not deterred Diaco, who said this week that a reworked trophy will be at the stadium in Orlando on Saturday when the 2-3 Huskies, who have lost three straight, visit winless UCF (0-5).

Diaco has changed the name of the game from “The Civil Conflict” to “The ConnFLiCT,” highlighting the states’ abbreviations and eliminating the Civil War-like reference “so as to not offend anyone,” he said.

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A grandson for Auriemma, a win for Team USA

By Carl Adamec

Geno Auriemma was born in Montella, Italy. Coincidentally, the University of Connecticut’s Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach was in Rome, only 175 miles away from his hometown, Wednesday when he became a grandfather for the third time.

Hours after his daughter, Jenna, gave birth to her and her husband Todd’s third son, Luke, Auriemma guided the United States national team to a win over the Italian national team.

On Thursday, Team USA improved to 3-0 on its four-game European tour with an 86-50 rout of the Dike Naples professional team in Naples.
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Team USA goes to 2-0 on European tour

By Carl Adamec

The United States national team got the kind of test it was looking for in the second game of its four-game European tour.

Angel McCoughtry scored 19 points to lead five Americans in double figures as Team USA pulled away in the second half to defeat Italy’s national team 79-66 Wednesday in Rome.
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Bird’s future could include another gold rush

By Carl Adamec

Sue Bird had not even been awarded her gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when she was asked about making another run to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The former University of Connecticut standout has always been one to accept a challenge.

“You say that, but in 2012 you obviously didn’t know what was going to happen,” Bird said on Monday. “There are no guarantees for a player that’s my age. But I knew that it was something I wanted to do. In the last few years I’ve had two hip surgeries and another on my knee. So I knew that taking care of my body would be an important step for me. But once we got to 2014, it really started to feel that it was getting closer and I was healthy. And, right now, I feel really good about where I am.”
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Auriemma’s USA club opens trip with win

By Carl Adamec

Coach Geno Auriemma’s United States senior national team made it look easy in the opener of its four-game, three-country European fall tour.

Reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky had 21 points while two-time MVP Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks had a triple-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists as Team USA routed Uni Girona 84-52 on Sunday in Girona, Spain.
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BYU pulls away from UConn, 30-13

UConn quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw two fourth-quarter interceptions, and BYU pulled away for a 30-13 victory Friday in Provo, Utah.

The Huskies dropped to 2-3 after their third loss in a row. BYU, coming off two consecutive losses, is 3-2.

UConn took a 10-7 lead in the third quarter before BYU rallied before a restless crowd that was quick to express its displeasure with the Cougars’ sloppy play.

Shirreffs (14-for-27, 168 yards, two interceptions) threw a 30-yard TD pass to Arkeel Newsome with 1:42 left in the first half.

Bobby Puyol kicked a 37-yard field goal midway through the third quarter after UConn’s second interception of BYU’s Tanner Mangum (35-for-53, 365 yards, two TDs).

The Cougars’ Trevor Sansom, who missed two field goals in the first half, connected from 25 and 24 yards, the second giving the Cougars a 13-10 lead with 13:24 remaining.

Then came a crucial mistake by Shirreffs, who threw just one interception in the first four games. Bronson Kaufusi’s interception gave BYU the ball at the UConn 21, and Mangum hit Mitch Mathews with a touchdown pass on the next play with 12:11 left that gave BYU a 20-10 lead.

Puyol made a career-long 42-yard field goal with 9:04 to go. UConn had a shot at recovering the onside kick by Michael Tarbutt, but the ball bounced off the ground and into the hands of BYU’s Grant Jones.

The Huskies appeared to have stopped BYU on third down before defensive back Andrew Adams was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after kicking the ball following a BYU incompletion.

It was the second controversial personal foul of the night, the first resulting in an ejection of a BYU player. The Cougars capitalized, with Mangum hitting Mathews for a 6-yard score Sansom kicked his third field goal with 26 seconds left.

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Sep 26, 2015; East Hartford, CT, USA; Connecticut Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs (4) throws a pass against the Navy Midshipmen in the first quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday: UConn at BYU, 10:15 p.m. on ESPN2

Who: University of Connecticut Huskies vs. BYU Cougars

What: UConn plays a non-conference game on the road against BYU

Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium

When: 10:15 p.m. on ESPN2

After starting the season with back-to-back wins, the UConn Huskies (2-2) look to end a two-game losing streak when they face the BYU Cougars (2-2) in a non-conference matchup in Provo, Utah, at 10:15 p.m.

QB Bryant Shirreffs has thrown for 847 yards and four touchdowns this season, while RB Arkeel Newsome has totaled 153 rushing yards, 104 receiving yards and two total touchdowns this season. WR Noel Thomas leads the Huskies with 19 catches and 286 receiving yards.

BYU, which is coming off a 31-0 loss to Michigan, has lost two games in a row. Freshman QB Tanner Magnum has thrown for 719 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions this season. RB Adam Hine has totaled 312 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Mitchell Juergens has a team-high 250 receiving yards.