Both the good and the tragic apply to Women's Collegiate Basketball and one topic hits closer to home than the other. The very good applies to the UConn Huskies who tonight crushed their opponent (University of Southern Florida) with a final score of 102-37. No that is not a typo - they won by 65 points and with this victory tied their own NCAA record of 90 straight wins in a row.
As a die-hard Tennessee Lady Vols fan, I have a hard time praising UConn - a team I grew to dislike over the years as they proved to be one of Tennessee's fiercest opponents. Putting my dislike aside, you can't help but be super impressed by their prowess over the years which never seems to dwindle even though they lose their top players every few years due to graduation. They just keep churning out winning teams like a well-oiled machine under the guidance of Geno Auriemma. Just think of this in simple terms, 90 consecutive wins against many top ranked opponents both at home and at away games around the country for over two years! Congratulations to UConn on this impressive run and good luck breaking your own record as the Huskies go for 91 straight wins in Dallas against SMU on Saturday (my guess would be this will be televised on one of the major sports networks with a possible historic win in the offing).
Now for the very tragic - yesterday proved to be a horrific day for the Northwestern Wildcats Women's basketball team as they lost one of their players at the tender age of 19. Guard Jordan Hankins was found dead in her dorm room on campus Monday afternoon prompting an investigation by Evanston police but the university said in a statement that there was no evidence of foul play. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said an autopsy was on the schedule for today and results would be released soon.
The Wildcats had returned to Evanston after playing at Maryland on Saturday where Hankins had four points and two rebounds in eight minutes of play. Head Coach Joe McKeown called Hankins "remarkably dynamic" and stated "this is a devastating loss for our basketball family." "She brought an unwavering intensity and commitment to everything in her life. We will miss her enormously." Due to this tragedy, the Northwestern game against Minnesota on Wednesday has been cancelled.
While congratulations are pouring in to UConn, condolences are flowing in to Northwestern. Truly the very good versus the very tragic and I would like to add my condolences to the Wildcats and to Jordan Hankins' family. RIP sweet young Jordan.
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