Dawn Staley isn’t here for Geno Auriemma’s criticism.
The South Carolina coach hit back at the longtime UConn coach on Tuesday, just days after Auriemma criticized the Gamecocks following their win over the Huskies.
Auriemma called them out after the game for apparently leaving bruises on Huskies star Lou Lopez-Senechal’s body.
"I didn't say anything for a long, long, long time," Auriemma said. "And I just felt like — you want me to bring Lou in and see the bruises? It's just appalling what teams do to her now. It's not basketball anymore. It's not basketball anymore. So that was the problem."
Staley then addressed Auriemma on her radio show on Tuesday night.
“They play the right way, and approach it the right way whether they win or lose,” she said of her team, via The Associated Press. “We don’t denounce anybody’s play. They are always uplifting the game of women’s basketball, and when we were getting our heads beat in by UConn for all those years, I said nothing.”
No. 1 South Carolina beat No. 4 UConn 81-77 on Sunday at the XL Center, marking the Gamecocks' fourth win over UConn in their last five meetings.
Auriemma was heated throughout the game, and even threw a water bottle onto the court at one point — which earned him a technical foul.
— JD’s Sports Tweets (@JDsSportsTweets) February 5, 2023
Auriemma also said after the game that it wasn’t “one key play” that he was referring to with Lopez-Senechal, but rather “there were a lot of things going on that were being overlooked.”
Staley, though, isn’t having it.
“We’ve been called so many things and I’m sick of it,” Staley said Tuesday, via The Associated Press. “I’m sick of it because I coach some of the best human beings the game has ever had.”
Staley addressed the issue against Wednesday, saying she spoke to her team about her exchange with Auriemma. And reiterated the team will continue to play the same way if they meet UConn again.
Asked Dawn Staley if she addressed the post-UConn comments with the team. She said she has, and she went in to explain why she responded to Geno Auriemma last night.
Here’s the full response: pic.twitter.com/6VGSsXMJny
— Jeremiah Holloway (@jerem11ah) February 8, 2023
South Carolina has yet to lose this season, and will take on Auburn next on Thursday night.
Geno Auriemma responds, stands by take
Auriemma was asked about Staley's comments then on Wednesday night following their loss to Marquette, which marked the first time they've had consecutive losses in nearly 30 years.
He stood by his take, and insisted that he was only complaining about the officiating.
"If I'm never allowed to question an official without someone thinking I'm casting aspirations towards their team, that's just asinine. If you've been paying attention, I've been saying that for 20 years"
Geno Auriemma responds to Dawn Staley defending South Carolina: pic.twitter.com/snc8EnP1IG
— UConn on SNY (@SNYUConn) February 9, 2023
"If people have been payign attention seriously, I've been making that statement for 20-some years. Since Diana [Taurasi] was playing for us ... In each one of those instances, everything I said was directed squarely at the officials, and not one other coach said a word," Auriemma said. "Because you have a right to coach your team anyway you want. I have enough trouble coaching my own team.
"But I can have a say in how officials call a game ... If I'm never allowed to question an official without someone thinking I'm casting aspirations toward their team, that's just asinine. If you've been paying attention, I've been saying that for 20 years."