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Geno Auriemma takes issue with referees: ‘It’s not basketball anymore’

UConn coach Geno Auriemma took issue with the officiating in Sunday's loss to South Carolina. (M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma called out the officiating in his team’s 81-77 loss to No. 1 South Carolina.

His frustration with the calls from the referees, Auriemma said, is what led him to slam a water bottle on the court, an action which drew a technical foul. While he called it a “dumb mistake by me,” he also said “a lot of things…were being overlooked.”

“It was very, very difficult for some of our guys to move out on the floor. So I don’t think it was one key play. I just couldn’t keep quiet any longer,” he said. “The technical was stupid. I didn’t say anything for a long, long, long time. If you want to bring (graduate senior guard) Lou (Lopez Sénéchal) in and you can see the bruises on her body.

“It’s just appalling what teams do to her now. It’s not basketball anymore. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not basketball.”

Both Lopez Sénéchal and Nika Muhl fouled out for the No. 5 Huskies in Sunday’s loss, while Kamilla Cardoso fouled out for South Carolina.

The Gamecocks were called for 23 fouls, while UConn called for 21. But there were some close calls toward the end of the game that went against the Huskies, including a handoff in-bounds toward the end of the game that wasn’t called.

“It was a struggle with the way the game was being managed,” Auriemma said. “There was a handoff right on the sideline in front of their bench and the kid clearly was out of bounds. I asked them to review it and they didn’t. So I’ve got to learn the rules are. They’re not allowed to review it? They’re not allowed to make some of the calls they made during the game.

“As I said, there’s the way the game is played, the way the game is called is going to impact how the game was played. And you as a player and you as a coach have to make some adjustments to how the game is being called that day. And I just thought that there were a lot of things going on that were being overlooked.”

The coach also took issue with the officiating in his team’s road win against rival Tennessee on Jan. 26.