NCAA women hoops: Small crowd greets champion UConn
WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — A small crowd greeted the NCAA champion Connecticut women's basketball team as they returned home with their second straight title on Wednesday.
About 175 fans waited by a runway at Bradley International Airport as the Huskies arrived from San Antonio, where they beat Stanford, 53-47, on Tuesday night. It was the team's 78th straight win and second straight undefeated season.
"I know there would be a lot more people here, but they're probably in the hospital, so if you see any of your friends, tell them we won," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma, a reference to the Huskies needing a second-half rally to pull out the victory.
Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell was there to greet the team.
"These are loyal Huskies fans," she said of the crowd gathering before the team arrived. "They never take it (winning) for granted. Five people, five hundred people, five thousand people, we're the best fans and the best supporters."
One fan coming for the first time to celebrate with the Huskies was a little surprised by the subdued greeting.
"This is kind of special, back-to-back and how long they've gone without losing. I thought there would be more people here," said Sue Lindgren of nearby East Longmeadow, Mass.
A campus pep rally also was scheduled later in Storrs.