UConn women’s basketball will begin its season earlier than expected. The Huskies will play UMass Lowell on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. SNY will carry the action live from Gampel Pavilion.
The game will occur four days after UConn completes its 14-day quarantine. The Huskies paused team activities after a member of the program (but not a player or coach) tested positive for COVID-19. At the moment, players can only work out with other members of their “pod” — the people they live with. Full-team practices can’t begin until Dec. 8, assuming all goes according to plan.
The positive test disrupted the first four games on the Huskies’ schedule, resulting in three non-conference matchups against Quinnipiac, Maine/Mississippi State and Louisville canceled and one Big East meeting vs. Seton Hall rescheduled.
After a tune-up against the River Hawks, UConn will open Big East play against Butler on Dec. 15 followed by a trip to Seton Hall on Dec. 17.
UMass Lowell is a member of the America East Conference and only moved up to Division I in 2013. Last season, the River Hawks went 16-15 — which marked the first time they’ve finished above .500 in their DI history. UMass Lowell is coach by Tom Garrick, the husband of UConn’s assistant Shea Ralph. The two schools have never met on the court.
Though this game will be a short turnaround for UConn following its shut down, it’ll be a good opportunity for the Huskies to get game action against an inferior opponent. Essentially, this will be an exhibition game for Geno Auriemma’s squad in all but name.