You have to go back 30 years to find a regular-season game of
similar significance that featured a comeback as stirring as the
one produced by then No. 4 Duke in its 68-67 upset of No. 1
Connecticut last Saturday. On Jan. 19, 1974, Notre Dame's Dwight
Clay capped a 12-0 Fighting Irish run in the final 3:32 with a
game-winning jump shot to sink UCLA 71-70, ending the Bruins'
88-game win streak. That, however, was a home game for the Irish.
Duke's win, during which it trailed by as many as 20 points and
which was capped by 6-foot sophomore guard Jessica Foley's
buzzer-beating three-pointer, took place at the Hartford Civic
Center and it ended the Huskies' homecourt win streak at 69, one
shy of a new NCAA record. Blue Devils guard Alana Beard, who
scored 20 of her game-high 21 points in the second half, spoke
for all her teammates when she said, "This has to be the greatest
game I have ever been a part of."
History aside, the rally by Duke (which became No. 1 on Monday)
revealed some potentially fatal flaws in UConn's bid for a third
straight national championship. Trailing 59-44 with 6:56 to play,
the Blue Devils relied on a 1-2-2 full-court trapping defense to
force 10 turnovers, six of which were committed by UConn guards
Barbara Turner and Maria Conlon. Afterward, UConn coach Geno
Auriemma said flatly, "Our guard situation is what it is," and he
added, "We may have made a mistake in recruiting." Equally
troubling for UConn is that its rotation consists of only six
players, compared to Duke's seven. "I've learned that you can
teach with both wins and losses," Auriemma said. "Today, we
basically got exposed for some things that we are not very good
COLOR PHOTO: STEPHEN SLADE Foley's trey over Ann Strother made Duke ecstatic and UConn self-critical.
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