Storrs, Conn. – The Pacific women's basketball team continues its road trip Tuesday night against the UConn Huskies in a 4:30 p.m. Pacific tip-off at Gampel Pavilion.
The Tigers (0-1) dropped a season-opening contest against Fairfield on Sunday, 56-47, at Alumni Hall despite a double-double from junior forward Kendall Rodriguez (13 points, 10 rebounds) and an 11-rebound, eight-point debut from junior guard Ashley Wakefield.
Pacific is returning the game with the Huskies after last season's visit to Stockton by then-No. 1 UConn on Dec. 28. The Tigers' and Huskies' coaching staff put together the home-and-home series after meeting on the recruiting trail in 2009.
Last year's contest drew the attention of the Central Valley, as Pacific sold out the Spanos Center for the first time in the history of the women's basketball program, as 6,150 shattered the Tigers' previous attendance record.
A solid defensive start and a three-pointer from Rodriguez pulled the Tigers to within 15-12, and after Pacific forced a turnover to get the ball back with with 8:33 remaining in the first half, a murmur rippled through the crowd. But out of a timeout, the Huskies went to the press and finally seized control of the game, pulling away in the second half for an 85-42 victory in the first meeting between the two teams.
This season, the Huskies get Pacific on their home court, Gampel Pavilion.
"When we scheduled this home and home with them, we knew it was going to be a great playing experience for our team," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "There's going to be a lot of people there. There's always a lot of excitement there [at the beginning of the season]. But at the end of the day, the goal is to go in there and compete and represent Pacific well. My hope is we can go in there and be fearless. Enjoy the atmosphere, but not get caught up in it. As fun as it will be, I want that same fight that we bring on Sunday to be brought on Tuesday."
After losing All-American and Player of the Year Maya Moore, Connecticut was picked to finish second in the Big East this season, behind Notre Dame. The Huskies enter the week ranked No. 4 in both the AP Top 25 and coaches poll (new polls will be released on Tuesday before the game). UConn opened their season with a 77-37 win over Holy Cross on Sunday.
Following Tuesday's contest, the Tigers will return home to face St. Mary's on Saturday in a 7 p.m. tip-off. The game will be the 1,000th in the history of the women's program.