They don't call this place the RAC for nothing, you know. And during the C. Vivian Stringer era, this place and her teams often inflicted medieval pain on UConn, stretching the eight-time national champions with methodical torture.
Cappie Pondexter and Linda Miles, among other antagonists, took pleasure poking — sometimes literally — the UConn program.
However, the finale did not follow the usual script. There was no pain. Just a lot of gain as UConn ran to its 94-64 win.
"It was one of the better games we've played here in a very long time," coach Geno Aureimma said. "But it didn't even feel like we were at Rutgers. I don't know what's been going on. The last two games [at Baylor and Rutgers] … maybe the fans feel sorry for me now that I am getting older. When I was younger they didn't treat me like that."
Unless UConn is admitted to the Big 10, where Rutgers is headed after this season, Sunday was the last time that the Huskies will cross the Raritan River to play the Scarlet Knights.
"I wouldn't say we'll never play here again," Auriemma said. "I talk to Vivian [Stringer] all the time about this stuff. I don't imagine it will be the last time we play here. I think it's a good thing to bring your team to a place where you will play against a great defensive team."
Problem is, Stringer, the Hall of Fame coach, is on the last year of her contract, and there has been no indication, either way, if she will be asked to return.
Tough Act To Maintain
No program in women's college basketball deals with the itemized scrutiny that the UConn women do. Things always need to look and work in pristine fashion.
And after beating Baylor by 11 points last week, but shooting just 22 of 60 from the floor, Auriemma heard questions about why his team didn't do better.
"What happens when you play at Connecticut is when you don't win by 30, it must be because you [stink] at so many different things that you shouldn't even think about [participating] in postseason play," Auriemma said. "You hold a team [Baylor] that's averaging 90 points to just 55 and it's still, 'Well, Connecticut [stunk].'
"Sometimes, I think, our players get tired of listening to those questions. Most teams that go on the road and win by 11 against a team like Baylor, that's won 69 straight [at home], would come back thinking it was a helluva win. But here it's about what we didn't do, what are we going to fix, what went wrong and what's wrong, what's wrong and what's wrong.
"Every game gives us a chance to figure out something to get better at. … And that doesn't change. If there was a pick-up game after the national championship game, and we won it, we would still work on the five things we didn't do well."
UConn's 25th straight win is the sixth-longest winning streak in program history. … UConn's post players, Breanna Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes, continued to block shots Sunday. They added eight more to the books (169), four from Stewart and three from Stokes. Stewart now has 53, Dolson and Stokes have 49. UConn has never had three players with at least 50 blocks in the same season. … UConn shot 56.5 percent (39-for-69, 9-for-19 from three). "It makes everything else look good," Auriemma said. … The Huskies outrebounded Rutgers 44-27 and assisted on 26 of their 39 baskets.