ACC out of its league against UConn

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — There might be one Atlantic Coast Conference club that wants the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team to join the ACC. Then again, Notre Dame is still in the Big East today.

Duke still has two games left with the Huskies on a four-year deal the schools agreed to in 2011, but no one would blame the Blue Devils for not wanting to see UConn anymore than they do.

The third-ranked Huskies’ 79-49 rout of over No. 4 Duke at Gampel Pavilion Monday night was their sixth straight win over the Blue Devils and their 22nd straight win against ACC opponents.

“Every year they’re supposed to be a really good team,” UConn guard Kelly Faris said. “You get fired up for those games. Those are the games you live for. There was a lot of frustration built up over the last few games we played and this was our chance to redeem ourselves.”

The Huskies lead the overall series with Duke 9-3, with the Blue Devils’ last win coming in the 2006 NCAA Bridgeport Regional final. UConn’s average margin of victory in the last six games is 29.3 points.

Duke (16-1) was only down two at halftime and by six with 16:38 left. But a 24-4 run by the Huskies (17-1) made the Blue Devils pack it in for the night.

“The first half they got in our face and hit back,” Faris said. “In the second half? I can’t speak for them but for us we just kept building off of each other. I don’t know what it was from their standpoint how difficult it was to come back or not. But we tried really hard to not let them have a glimpse of coming back.”

The last ACC team to beat UConn was North Carolina, which picked up an 82-76 win in Chapel Hill on Jan. 15, 2007. The 22 straight wins have come against Duke (6), North Carolina (5), Florida State (4), Georgia Tech (2), Clemson (1), Maryland (1), North Carolina State (1), Virginia (1), and Wake Forest (1). The only ACC teams UConn has not faced the past six seasons are Big East defectors Miami (Fla.), Virginia Tech, and Boston College. Miami coach Katie Meier, who coached UConn freshmen Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck, and Moriah Jefferson with the 2012 United States U-18 national team, said last May she would like to get a home-and-home series going with the Huskies sooner than later.

Also, soon-to-be ACC schools Louisville (12), Syracuse (22), and Pittsburgh (27) have long losing streaks against UConn. Notre Dame, though, has beaten the Huskies five of the last six after starting off 4-28.