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UConn coach Geno Auriemma slams refereeing in rivalry game

UConn coach Geno Auriemma blasted the officiating in Huskies' win over Tennessee. (Saul Young/News Sentinel/USA TODAY NETWORK)

No. 5 UConn women’s basketball dominated in an 84-67 road win Thursday against rival Tennessee despite the injury-depleted visitors using just seven players.

The Huskies (19-2) also managed to win despite coach Geno Auriemma’s sharp criticism of the officiating.

When the buzzer sounded to end the first half, UConn held a narrow 40-36 lead. Auriemma’s team had been called for nine personal fouls compared to five for the Lady Vols (16-7), and the Huskies shot two free throws compared to the Vols’ 12.

ESPN’s Holly Rowe asked the coach how he would address the free throws and second-chance points his team had allowed.

“How do I address it? How do I address it? You don’t address it,” Auriemma said. “This is what you get when you come down here. The game was called one way, then it changed. Nothing else changed. We didn’t change. Nothing else changed.”

UConn pulled away in the second half, though, led by 26 points from senior forward Lou Lopez Sénéchal and 25 points from junior forward Aaliyah Edwards. Just seven players saw the floor, as the team is still stymied by injuries, including a worrisome knee injury for star sophomore Azzi Fudd.

Also, by the end of the game, the foul situation had turned in the Huskies’ favor. Through all four quarters, Tennessee was called for 18 fouls, compared to just 17 for UConn.

Next up, UConn faces No. 21 Villanova at 2 p.m. ET Saturday. The Wildcats (18-3) are led by Maddy Siegrist, the top scorer in the nation with 28.5 points per game.