Dejected Geno Auriemma Reacts to Illegal Screen Call at End of UConn–Iowa

The Huskies coach expressed his disappointment at the late-game whistle during his postgame press conference.
UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma speaks at a press conference after a loss to Iowa in the Final Four.
UConn Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma speaks at a press conference after a loss to Iowa in the Final Four. / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

An officiating controversy hung over the closing moments of a Final Four thriller between Iowa and UConn Friday night in Cleveland after a late foul call against the Huskies squashed a comeback attempt in their 71–69 loss to the Hawkeyes.

Unsurprisingly, Geno Auriemma was among those not pleased with the call.

UConn senior forward Aaliyah Edwards was tagged with an illegal screen as the Huskies had the ball, trailing by one with a chance to take the lead. Iowa retook possession with 3.9 seconds and was able to secure a pivotal offensive rebound on a missed free throw from Caitlin Clark to seal the win.

But conversation quickly turned back to the call on Edwards as many felt the whistle marred an otherwise competitive and hotly contested game. Auriemma was asked about the play during his postgame press conference and made clear that he wasn’t thrilled by the way his team was officiated on screens throughout the evening.

"There's probably an illegal screen call that you could make on every single possession,” Auriemma said. “I just know that there were three or four of them called on us and I don't think there were any called on them.

“So I guess we just need to get better at not setting illegal screens.”

Over the course of the game, UConn was called for 18 fouls compared to Iowa’s nine. That discrepancy helped play a role in the outcome as the Hawkeyes connected on 10-of-14 free throws, while the Huskies made just 3-of-4.

With the loss, UConn will remain short of the title game for the second year in a row. The Huskies, winners of a record 11 national championships, have not hoisted a NCAA trophy since 2016 when they defeated Syracuse to cap off a run of four straight titles.


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Zach Koons

ZACH KOONS

Zach Koons is a programming editor at Sports Illustrated who also specializes in Formula One news and analysis. He started as a breaking news writer at SI before joining the programming team in 2023. Also a contributor to NBA and college sports coverage, Zach previously wrote for The Spun and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and currently hosts the Bleav in Northwestern podcast. Zach is a 2022 graduate of Northwestern University and lives in New York City.