STORRS - No. 10 Penn State (6-2) lost to No. 2 Connecticut (8-0), 67-52, at the Gampel Pavilion at Connecticut, but the storyline after the game centralized not around the players or coaches, rather the officials.
News headlines touted the game as a Top 10 matchup between the Huskies and Lady Lions, but head coach Coquese Washington said the officials must have missed the memo.
"I don't think the fans or anybody watching on TV got to see the kind of basketball that both teams are capable of playing," Washington said, "because of the way the game was called and because of the physical play."
Washington said no matter if you were watching, coaching or playing, it was a frustrating game because of the physicality and calls that disrupted the game.
The former WBNA player said that it made it impossible for the game to find a flow and when the game finally found one, Penn State was on the wrong side.
"We just needed three minutes without a Goddamn whistle," Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said with distaste after the win. "When the game is played like it was tonight, it's impossible to try to get any rhythm going...you're just trying to survive the offensive set and hope you can make a play."
After the game, the coach in his 27th season did not seem zealous of the win, mainly because of the officials, which was the majority of topic in his post game press conference.
Auriemma let his voice be heard during the game as well. After kicking the score's table and screaming at the officials after a foul call on his junior center Stefanie Dolson, the referees handed him a technical foul.
It was one part of a sloppy game of basketball that consisted both teams combining to have 46 turnovers and 38 fouls.
Three Lions had four fouls: senior forwards Nikki Greene and Mia Nickson and senior guard Alex Bentley. Junior guard Maggie Lucas fouled out with 54 seconds left in the game.
Lucas led the team in scoring with 15 points and shot 8-for-16 from the field.
Auriemma said before the game through assistant director of athletic communications Pat McKenna that Connecticut's key to success was to shut down Lucas and Bentley.
Washington said that Connecticut achieved that by keeping players, like Lucas, off balance with defensive traps.
Auriemma credited the defense to senior guard Kelly Faris, who as Auriemma said is an asset to have to be able to shut down a player like Lucas.
Despite what the final score says, the Lions had a chance at winning the game.
While the Lions started the game on two turnovers leading to a 5-0 Connecticut run in the first minute, they battled the early adversity, beginning with Bentley draining a three.
Bentley finished the night with seven points, five rebounds while shooting 2-for-16 from the field.
In between the 19 whistles that were called on fouls in the first half, Penn State tried its best to hang tough with Connecticut.
Washington said that she instructed her team to try to be patient and create its own shots, not being forced to rush because of Connecticut high intensive pressure.
It held its own, despite Penn State winding the shot clock down on almost every offensive possession in the first half.
They left the court at half, trailing by only six, 28-22.
Penn State kept the game close until 10:06 left in the game when Penn State turned the ball over three times in 13 seconds, which led to a four point Connecticut swing.
"I thought we got a little bit fatigued during that stretch, so we didn't play that smart," Washington said of the three consecutive Penn State turnovers.
After that the crowd exploded and the only thing that kept the game from being over was the game clock as Penn State could not overcome the Huskies' 13-point lead.
While Connecticut won the game, both coaches might agree that women's basketball lost.
"We have some real [officiating issues] in women's basketball" Auriemma said, "and unless they get addressed they're going to continue and that's just not right."