The play started off like many others. Kelly Faris drove to the basket and was hit by Maryland forward Tianna Hawkins with 22 seconds left in the first half today in the NCAA regional semifinals at Webster Bank Arena. But as obvious as the play seemed, that was where it turned in a hurry.
Official Eric Brewton ruled that it was a blocked shot by Hawkins and not a foul. The no-call sent UConn coach Geno Auriemma into a frenzied tirade, just like the old days. He stormed up the sidelines to midcourt, screaming at Brewton. He then ran down to the end of the UConn bench, still screaming.
Finally, official Joe Vaszily hit Auriemma with a technical with 7.5 seconds left. The technical cost the Huskies three points on one free throw by Alyssa Thomas and a jumper Hawkins.
“There wasn’t anything going through my head when I got the technical,’’ Auriemma said. “After the technical what was going through my head was, `You’re 59-years-old and you’re just good as stupid as you were when you were 29. You’re just a dumbass.’ I just felt a 12-year-old who got caught doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing. I told the players that. There really no excuse for that. None.
“I cost our team (three) points and at this stage of my life I should be way past that. That’s a long time ago.’’
UConn associate coach head coach Chris Dailey, who did her best to control Auriemma, said that she might have to start wearing flats instead of high heels.
It was the fourth technical of the season for Auriemma. He was also hit up against Penn State Dec. 6, at Stanford Dec. 29 and at Notre Dame March 4.
The Huskies found enjoyment in Auriemma’s episode.
“I went up. I thought I got hit,’’ Faris said. “But it is what it is. It was nice to see Coach kind of get a little mad and not at me. So at first I was like, `Crap, he’s mad at me. I probably shouldn’t have taken it in.’ But them I like, `Oh, the flipside.’’’
Said junior Stefanie Dolson: “He’s a feisty man and he gets fired up very quickly. And it fires us up. I think it’s fun to see him kind of get a little rowdy sometimes like that. It’s funny. I just laugh.’’