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Geno Auriemma Remarkably Graceful in Acceptance of Defeat

For someone who doesn’t lose very often, Geno handled the last-second loss extremely well.

Ian Bethune for The UConn Blog

In an unbelievable turn of events, UConn Women’s Basketball’s incredible winning streak, which had reached 111 games, ended Friday night at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Morgan William hit a buzzer beater in overtime to send the Bulldogs to the National Championship and give women’s college basketball its first non-UConn champion since 2012.

“I always tell my team, one play doesn’t cost you a game. It almost never does...but a lot of times, you know, one play will win you a game,” Geno Auriemma said. “That’s exactly what she did.”

As William’s game-winner went in, even Geno couldn’t help but smile. He explained why after the game.

Perhaps one of the few people in the world who actually believed this UConn team could lose, Geno thought it would have happened at some point already.

“We were playing way above our years and way above our experience level,” he said. “When we really needed to be a little more mature with what we’re doing, we didn’t have it. A big part of it was because of what they were doing.”

He was not shy in offering credit to the victors for the way they earned the upset, but also put into perspective how fragile the winning streak was even if it appeared invincible to the general public.

“They were just better... when stuff like this happens, it kind of makes me shake my head and go ‘You know how many times this could have happened and it didn’t...?’

“I knew it was coming at some point. I’m just shocked it took this long to get here.”