Juggernaut Connecticut to play Georgia Tech at McCamish

Georgia Tech head coach Nell Fortner gives direction to her team during the Sweet Sixteen round of the women's NCAA Tournament against South Carolina Sunday, March 28, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (Eric Gay/AP)
Caption
Georgia Tech head coach Nell Fortner gives direction to her team during the Sweet Sixteen round of the women's NCAA Tournament against South Carolina Sunday, March 28, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (Eric Gay/AP)

Credit: Eric Gay

Credit: Eric Gay

The Georgia Tech women’s basketball team will play host to powerhouse Connecticut in December, the second time that the 11-time national champions will have played the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.

Both schools announced the game Tuesday, to be played Dec. 9 at McCamish Pavilion. The game was arranged as an opportunity for Huskies forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa, from Winder-Barrow High, to play a homecoming game. It is a one-game agreement between the two teams.

Nelson-Ododa, a senior, has started each of the past two seasons and was the Big East co-defensive player of the year last season. The Huskies finished last season 28-2 and were ranked No. 1 going into the NCAA Tournament before losing in the Final Four. Connecticut is led by guard Paige Bueckers, who in the 2020-21 season became the first freshman to win the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Associated Press Player of the Year and USBWA Player of the year awards.

Connecticut forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa (20) shoots over Butler forward Nyamer Diew (13) during the first quarter Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Indianapolis. (Michael Conroy/AP)
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Connecticut forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa (20) shoots over Butler forward Nyamer Diew (13) during the first quarter Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Indianapolis. (Michael Conroy/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Tech coach Nell Fortner could field a Top 25 team to face the Huskies, as the Jackets return all five starters from a team that finished 17-9 and reached the Sweet 16 for only the second time in team history.

For Tech, it arguably is the most significant non-conference regular-season game since the last time Connecticut played at Tech, which was in November 2010. The Huskies visited for similar purposes, as the great Maya Moore returned to play in her hometown in her senior season. A crowd of 7,325 – a Tech women’s basketball attendance record for a home game that still stands – showed up to see Moore score 30 and the Huskies win their 81st consecutive game.

“UConn is one of the most storied programs in women’s basketball, and when I arrived at Georgia Tech, I wanted to bring in programs like UConn so we have the opportunity to compete against top teams,” Fortner said in a statement.

“We’re building a program at Georgia Tech that wants to win at the highest level, and in order to do that, you have to play the best teams in the country. We’re excited to be able to showcase this game for our fans and the city of Atlanta.”