UConn-Tennessee women's basketball programs extend rivalry series

Women’s basketball’s most storied rivalry lives on.

UConn announced Friday it has renewed its series with Tennessee for two more seasons. The Huskies will host the Lady Vols in 2021-22, and then the schools will play in Tennessee in 2022-23.

UConn is 15-9 all-time against Tennessee, including 4-0 in national championship games.

Following a 13-year hiatus, the teams resumed their rivalry in 2020 in conjunction with “We Back Pat” week, an initiative organized by the Pat Summitt foundation to honor the legendary Lady Vols coach, who died in 2016 from Alzheimer’s disease. The Huskies won that matchup 60-45 in Hartford, and then beat the Lady Vols again this past January in Knoxville, Tenn., 67-61.

UConn’s Geno Auriemma and Tennessee’s Kellie Harper both had expressed interest in continuing the series prior to their last meeting.

“It takes two people that want to do it, and I’m always up for playing anybody, anywhere, anytime,” Auriemma said. “People that know me know that. … So if Kellie wants to, I’m sure there’s a pretty good chance it’ll happen. When though, I don’t know.”

Added Harper: “I think we’d have to talk through logistics and what that would look like, but we’re definitely willing to have those conversations.”

UConn still has room for two more non-conference games. As announced last week, the Huskies will play Louisville in the Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase at Mohegan Sun on Dec. 19. The Huskies also are expected to host Notre Dame and visit Oregon and South Carolina. Additionally, they will compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis, an inaugural early-season tournament from Nov. 20-22 on Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas. The rest of the field includes Buffalo, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Florida, and Syracuse.

Their home-and-home with Texas has been pushed back to 2022-23 at the Longhorns’ request.

Dates, times, TV info and arena designations will be announced at a later date.

dbonjour@ctpost.com; @DougBonjour