UConn will face some familiar foes in November’s HOF Women’s Challenge
The seventh annual Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge is set for the weekend of Nov. 28 and 29 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday. On Saturday, Nov. 28, UConn’s women’s basketball will take on Quinnipiac and Maine and Mississippi State will face off the on other side of the bracket. The championship and consolation games will follow on Sunday.
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The Women’s Challenge is part of the Hall of Fame’s college event series, a national effort to grow and celebrate the game outside the museum walls. According to a press release, the Basketball Hall of Fame “will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely in the coming months” to maintain the health and safety of athletes, fan and staff.
“Playing at Mohegan is always a great chance for our fans in another part of our state to come and see us play,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said in a release. “We’re looking forward to playing there for the seventh straight season. This tournament with the Basketball Hall of Fame will feature exciting basketball and it’ll be a great event.”
UConn and Mississippi State look to be the favorites in the Women’s Challenge. Last year, Auriemma and UConn secured the signing of No. 1 high school prospect in the nation Paige Bueckers, who is widely expected to be the starting point guard for the Huskies in the fall. This past season, Mississippi State’s young core showed promise as freshman Rickea Jackson averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 rebounds and sophomore Jessika Carter averaged 13 points and 8.7 rebounds.
Auriemma’s team has recent history with both Quinnipiac and Mississippi State in the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Three years ago, the Mississippi State Bulldogs famously snapped UConn’s 111-game winning streak with a buzzer-beating 66-64 overtime victory in the 2017 Final Four. In the second round of the 2018 tournament, the 11-time national champions demolished Quinnipiac 71-46.
“A lot of coaches I know, including my former head coach Pat Summitt, are in the Hall of Fame. Dawn Staley and a lot of my Olympic teammates have been inducted into the Hall as well,” said newly hired Mississippi State head coach Nikki McCray-Penson. “It’s where this all begins. We will be going up against some great competition in Maine, Quinnipiac, and UConn. I’m really looking forward to the event.”
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