Women’s Basketball: Huskies kickoff 2019-20 campaign with Cal

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Cal played the Huskies to a close contest last year, but UConn should have no problem opening their season 1-0.  Photo by Charlotte Lao / The Daily Campus.

Cal played the Huskies to a close contest last year, but UConn should have no problem opening their season 1-0. Photo by Charlotte Lao / The Daily Campus.

It’s the most, won-der-ful timeee, of the year!  

‘Tis the season…it’s basketball season! The UConn women’s basketball team is back in action, and they’re hosting Cal at Gampel Pavilion Sunday at 1 p.m. — Be there. 

Call me crazy, but I think the Huskies are going to be 1-0. Sure, Cal is a solid team, but let’s be honest, they don’t compare to the Huskies.  

They had a solid season last year, going 20-13 overall and 9-9 in the conference, good for No. 7 overall in the Pac-12. They earned a No. 8 seed in the national tournament, and after beating North Carolina in the first round got ousted by the eventual champion: Baylor Lady Bears. 

Last season, Cal gave UConn a little bit of a test, losing by just 10 points in what was UConn’s second-smallest margin of victory at that point in the season. Of players still on the team, Crystal Dangerfield led the team in scoring with 15, followed by Crystal Williams with 13 and Megan Walker with 12. On Cal’s side, they had four players score in the double-digits, but three were seniors (including one grad transfer), and one transferred to Louisville.  

Now, while I do believe they are essentially a lock to win Sunday, it might not be with the ease they have won season openers in recent years. Over the past five seasons, they have won the season opener by an average of 32.4 points per game, which includes a two-point nail-biter to Florida State in 2016. 

This year, it could be a different story. 

“Whenever you have a lack of players that have already been through it all and have played a lot of basketball at the college level, whenever you don’t have that, it’s a nightmare for a coach, cause you just never know what you’re gonna get day in and day out, so everything is a wait and see,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. “I didn’t sit here last year before our first game wondering ‘jeez, I hope Lou makes a shot,’ or ‘I hope Pheesa scores in the lane.’ So there were certain things that were a given, and we have to find out what are those givens, and right now there’s not a whole lot of them. But they’ll come.” 

If they don’t blowout Cal, this year it might be a little hard to not see it as a forecast of what the season will be like.  

They’ll beat Cal, they’ll beat Vanderbilt and they’ll probably cruise all the way to the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 8. But then they get Notre Dame. That’ll be the first test, and it’ll be where we see what the Huskies are truly capable of this season. 

Thumbnail photo by Charlotte Lao / The Daily Campus.


Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu. He tweets @jorge_eckardt31.

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