- Geno Auriemma did not like the officiating during the opening half of UConn’s rivalry matchup.
- His Huskies earned two free throws, compared to Tennesee’s 12 in the first 20 minutes of play.
- The iconic coach said, “This is what you get when you come down here,” on live TV at halftime.
Women’s college basketball’s most legendary rivalry game never fails to provide the drama.
And this year, the UConn Huskies’ grudge match on the road against the Tennessee Volunteers was no exception.
Legendary UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was furious with the officiating throughout the opening 20 minutes of Thursday night’s battle in Knoxville. By the time the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the half, the 11-time NCAA champion practically had smoke coming out of his ears.
Despite the Huskies’ 40-36 lead heading into halftime, the country’s fifth-ranked team faced a considerable deficit in trips to the charity stripe. UConn was awarded just two free throws across the first and second quarters; Tennessee, meanwhile, had taken 12.
Auriemma was summoned for a TV interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe. And when he was asked about free throws and second-chance points, the eight-time Naismith Coach of the Year had plenty to say live on the air.
“How do I address it? How do I address it?!” Auriemma asked rhetorically. “You don’t address it! This is what you get when you come down here!
“The game was called one way, and then changed!” he added. “Nothing else changed. We didn’t change!”
—ESPN (@espn) January 27, 2023
The free-throw discrepancy leveled out as the game wore on, and the Huskies took full advantage to pull ahead. When all was said and done, UConn beat the Volunteers by 17 to improve to 19-2 on the season.