The UConn Womens Basketball team continued its quest towards an appearance in another NCAA Final Four this year as the Huskies defeated the Marquette Golden Eagles 71-51 on Sunday in the semifinal game of the Big East Tournament at the Mohegan Sun.
With eleven players available to Head Coach Geno Auriemma after COVID and injuries plagued the Huskies this season, three players scored in double figures while all nine players on the floor put points on the board to advance to the conference championship on Monday.
Guard Christyn Williams was the only player in the starting lineup to score in double figures, hitting six of nine field goals and one free throw for a total of thirteen points. Evina Westbrook came off the bench and led the team in scoring with fourteen points, hitting five of nine field goals and three of four from three point range, while graduate student Dorka Juhasz also came off the bench to score thirteen points.
Only two Golden Eagles scored in double figures, with guard Karissa McLaughlin leading the team with fifteen points, while guard Jordan King scored 12 points.
While the Huskies wore down the Golden Eagles by distributing minutes among players following the return of sophomore Paige Bueckers and freshmen Caroline Ducharme and Azzi Fudd from injuries, neither Bueckers or Fudd made the offensive contributions Sunday that they did against Georgetown in the quarter finals, with Bueckers and Ducharme scoring only two points each in the semifinal game.
Commenting on the contributions of different players on different days, Coach Auriemma noted after the game that “there’s this feeling, we know we’re going to get them (points), we just don’t know from where”.
In the second game of the semifinals, the Villanova Wildcats defeated the Seton Hall Pirates 64-55, setting up a championship game on Monday night between the Number 1 seeded Huskies and the Number 2 seeded Wildcats.
The game will be a rematch of the two teams following Villanova’s 72-69 win over UConn on February 9th in Hartford, when the Wildcats broke the Huskies’ streak of 169 straight conference wins.
By HMG Guest Writer: Steven R. Donen