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No. 4 UConn loses back-to-back games for the first time in 30 years as Marquette Golden Eagles soar

KTVZ News Team

By Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Nothing good lasts forever — at least, that’s what the UConn Huskies women’s basketball team will be feeling, after losing back-to-back games for the first time in almost 30 years.

The No. 4-ranked team lost to the Marquette Golden Eagles 59-52 Wednesday, after another defeat on Sunday to No. 1 South Carolina 81-77 meant the women Huskies lost consecutive games for the first time in 1,083 contests according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Not only is the Golden Eagles’ victory their first ever over the Huskies, it’s the team’s second win over a top-5 team in program history, according to Marquette. Marquette and UConn had met 16 times previously.

Though the Golden Eagles fell to an early 0-6 deficit and missed eight of their first nine shots, the team went on an eight-minute run to take a 23-10 lead.

“We started the game like it was gonna go exactly the way we had planned,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said, according to ESPN.

“As it started to go the other way — that one stretch in the first quarter where we had maybe four, five straight turnovers — I think that just completely, totally deflated us.”

Eagles’ Chloe Marotta had 19 points and Jordan King added 18 — and eventually held the Huskies to their lowest point total of the season.

UConn was able to tie the game midway through the third quarter, but Marquette regained control 21 seconds later, on a 3-pointer from Marotta. Despite only leading by one heading into the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles held firm in the final period and closed out a memorable win.

“In some ways, I’m speechless, but my next emotion is that I’m just incredibly proud of these women and what they did tonight,” said Marquette head coach Megan Duffy, who hailed the game as “a historic win for Marquette women’s basketball.”

“We knew we were up against a buzzsaw with Connecticut losing on Sunday, we knew there were going to be some major blows and punches thrown around, but I thought our girls were just tremendous staying together and fighting,” she added.

In an impressive run, UConn had won 189 of its past 190 conference games before Wednesday. But Sunday’s game against South Carolina marked a conference loss for the first time since March 1993, and Marquette didn’t allow the Huskies to shake the prospect of consecutive losses.

“With the week, two weeks we’ve had, I think mentally all of us — no one in particular — just checked out. And it was a major struggle because their team was so locked in to what they wanted to do. All the credit to them, because they were really good,” Auriemma added, according to ESPN.

Up next, Marquette will take on Providence on February 15, while UConn will face Georgetown on February 11.

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