UConn tips off against Oakland

By Carl Adamec

HARTFORD, Conn. — Welcome to the XL Center as the second-ranked University of Connecticut women’s basketball team faces Oakland (Mich.) out of the Summit League.

The Huskies (8-0) lead the series with the Golden Grizzlies (5-5) 1-0, an 85-53 win on Dec. 23, 2006. The teams have one common opponent this season — Purdue. UConn defeated the Boilermakers 91-57 in the Paradise Jam final Nov. 24, while Oakland lost to Purdue at home 77-46 last Sunday.

A pregame ceremony is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. to honor the victims of last Friday’s tragedy in Newtown.

UConn will be short-handed on its bench as it will be without sophomore center Kiah Stokes (right shin) and freshman forward Morgan Tuck (right knee).

The Huskies start a three-game road trip Saturday against the University of Hartford at Chase Family Arena (1 p.m., SNY). They will visit No. 1 Stanford Dec. 29 and Oregon New Year’s Eve.

Of note, UConn coach Geno Auriemma will appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Joe Scarborough Friday at 6:30 a.m. to discuss the Sandy Hook Elementary School Memorial Scholarship Fund.