UConn Women Beats Stanford, But Fan Complacency Remains

AP Photo Bob Child

By Richard Kent 

UConn-Stanford women at the Hartford XL Center was all it was cracked up to be and more. 

UConn faced its only half time deficit of the season at 40-38 but stormed back in the second half with one of its patented runs to win by 12.  

UConn was led by its two all-American candidates, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.  Charles was named the MVP of the game but it was Moore who helped to pull UConn out of its funk in the early parts of the second half.  She had an incredible pass during that time frame which really served as a catalyst for the UConn run. 

What was disconcerting about the game was that despite the announced sell out, it appeared that there were approximately 1,000 empty seats in the top rafters of the XL Center.  

What does all this mean?  What it means is that UConn women’s basketball is no longer competitive.  The Huskies are simply too good for the rest of the nation and some fans have been lulled into such a sense of complacently that they would rather spend their money on the NCAA’s than on a seemingly meaningless regular season game in December.  

Some UConn games have harbored at around an attendance figure of 10,000 at the XL Center.  

This is a far cry from the year 2000 when the undefeated UConn women regularly sold out what was then the Hartford Civic Center.  

One thing that must be remembered is that much of the demographic of the UConn women is comprised of retired people and they are on fixed incomes and it would appear that their philosophy is why spend money in December when the games are largely meaningless and will probably be blow outs.  It will take a while for the rest of the nation to catch up with the Huskies.  Tennessee did win two National Championships in a row a few years back with Candace Parker and Baylor is building a strong program led by 6’8” Brittney Griner.  

Many have speculated that UConn and Baylor will play a two game series starting in 2010-11, with the first game at UConn.   If so, this should generate some further interest in the UConn women’s program.  

There are really only three words that will generate total interest in the program and they don’t look like they will come to fruition.  

Bring back Tennessee. 

Veteran sports writer Richard Kent has authored a number of sports books, including Lady Vols and UConn: The Greatest Rivalry, Inside Women’s College Basketball: Anatomy of a Season, and Inside the US Open.  Most recently, Kent released a novel entitled The Racket, which tells the story of a African-American tennis player in Hartford, Connecticut.  In addition to his prodigious writing, Kent is a matrimonial lawyer in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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