Women's Basketball: UConn to hosts Vanguard with new rules

UConn guard Gabby Williams eyes a pass during UConn's 95-39 victory over Lubbock Christian on November 2, 2015. Williams finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus).

No. 1 UConn women’s basketball will host Vanguard on Sunday for an exhibition game that will be played under experimental rules.

Rule changes include extending the width of the lane to 16 feet, four feet wider than usual, using a with a 24-second shot clock with an eight-second backcourt rule and playing with a men’s basketball, according to an NCAA press release.

The game clock will be stopped after made baskets with less than two minutes to play. There will also be different substation rules that effect when teams are allowed to substitute.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma welcomes the experimental changes as a chance to see where any improvements can be made to the game.

“It will be good to find out on the court whether it matters or not,” Auriemma said. “If along the way you see that maybe it makes a little bit of a difference, it is something to think about down the road. We wouldn’t have gotten to where we are right now if we hadn’t talked about and experimented with some of the rules we have now.”

Vanguard, a member of the Golden State Athletic Conference, is the third-ranked school in the NAIA. The team already started its regular season with a 69-43 victory over California Lutheran.

The Huskies are coming off a 95-39 exhibition-game victory over Lubbock Christian on Monday night. UConn freshman guard Katie Lou Samuelson will be a player to watch during the exhibition.

Samuelson started Monday but did not look entirely comfortable on the court in her first outing, as she scored just eight points on a rough shooting night. Playing in front of the Gampel Pavilion crowd for the first time could help Samuelson as she continues to develop and gain confidence.

As far as the experimental changes go, the NCAA will record statistics from the game and send them to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee for analysis, according to the NCAA press release.

The chance to play a game under these rules will help Auriemma and other proponents for change to gather evidence.  

“It could be right or it could be completely wrong,” Auriemma said. “I just have this vision of everybody playing the game the same way.”


Spencer Mayfield is a staff writer for The Daily Campus covering women's basketball. He can be reached via email at spencer.mayfield@uconn.edu. He tweets @SpenceMayfield.