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Coronavirus Infection Sidelines UConn-Baylor Women's Basketball Rivalry

Baylor, Kim Mulkey
Brandon Wade
/
AP Photo
Baylor women's basketball head coach Kim Mulkey shouts instructions to her players during an NCAA basketball game against Texas Tech on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Waco, Texas.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s big showdown with rival Baylor University slated for Thursday is the latest casualty of the coronavirus.

“We knew when we decided to play that we were going to be in for a roller-coaster ride unlike any we’ve ever been on,” said UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.

The school announced the cancellation over email Tuesday, saying there was a positive test in the Baylor program. Shortly thereafter, Baylor’s hall of fame coach Kim Mulkey tweeted that she was the one who was infected.

“On December 25, I was exposed to a family member who tested positive,” Mulkey said in a tweet.

She went on to defend her appearance on the bench during a Jan. 2 game against Texas Christian University, saying she’d tested negative three times over the holiday break.

“I tested positive yesterday [Jan. 4] and will now isolate.”

Auriemma was frustrated after getting the news about Mulkey.

“If you’re out there blatantly abusing the protocol system, that’s on you: Only you know that,” Auriemma said. “If it’s just one of those things that no one can quite figure out how and why and where, it’s just part of the deal.”

Thursday’s game that’s now canceled offered an opportunity for the Huskies to avenge two straight losses to Baylor -- including one in 2019 that ended UConn’s run of more than 100 straight regular-season victories.

UConn already has had one COVID-19-related disruption to its season: The start of it was delayed two weeks because of a positive test. At the time, Auriemma said the person wasn’t a player or coach.

The team is next scheduled to play Providence College on Saturday in Storrs.

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