NCAA Women's Basketball

UConn, Duke still 1-2 heading into matchup

12/17 10:47 AM

The UConn women's basketball team remains the unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press poll, with a showdown against second-ranked Duke looming Tuesday night.

The UConn women's basketball team remains the unanimous No. 1 in The Associated Press poll, with a showdown against second-ranked Duke looming Tuesday night.

It will be the 52nd meeting between the top two teams in the poll, with the No. 1 team holding a 31-20 advantage.

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said Tuesday's matchup means more to women's basketball as a whole than it does to her team.

"I think the 1-2 thing is already doing what it should do -- drawing attention to the game," McCallie said Monday. "It's very important that women's basketball continues to grow."

But for her Blue Devils, she added that "this is one game. We've got a lot of games to play. That's it. I'm sorry to disappoint. It's one game, and we've got a whole lot after that, and it's not March or April. It's a chance to test ourselves."

Tests this tough don't come along all the time -- especially for a Duke program that can take a huge step forward with a win against a perennial nemesis that has won six straight in the series by an average of nearly 30 points.

UConn is the only visitor since 2008 to come into Cameron Indoor Stadium and beat Duke. And in both 2010-11 and last year, the Huskies welcomed undefeated Blue Devils teams to Connecticut -- and blew them out.

"I think sometimes we have a mental block," Duke point guard Chelsea Gray said. "`Oh, we've got to get that stop,' and it bleeds from there. They'll go on runs and we just haven't had that stop like, `We're going to stop that run."

This marks the seventh No. 1-vs.-No. 2 game in Duke history and the first since the then-top-ranked Blue Devils beat North Carolina 64-53 in 2007, the season before McCallie arrived.

UConn, meanwhile, has won 14 of its 17 all-time 1-vs.-2 matchups and are 10-1 in them when it's the top team.

"As long as we stay focused on what it is that we do, we usually end up being fine," UConn guard Bria Hartley said.

The top 10 remained the same as last week with Tennessee, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Stanford, Louisville, Maryland, Baylor and South Carolina following the Blue Devils.

Colorado, LSU, Oklahoma State, North Carolina and Iowa State were the next five. Georgia was 16th followed by Penn State, which fell five spots after losing to South Dakota State. Purdue, Nebraska and Oklahoma were the next three.

California, Iowa, Syracuse, Florida State and Gonzaga round out the poll.

The Seminoles entered the Top 25 this week.


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