The ninth ranked UConn Women’s Basketball team advanced to the Big East Tournament Championship Game on Sunday afternoon by defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles in the semifinals by a score of 81-52.
The game was marked by the Huskies’ ability to play ten players, with both senior guard Caroline Ducharme and sophomore guard Azzi Fudd available to play after both players returned from injuries in the quarter finals of the tournament on Saturday afternoon.
All five UConn starters scored in double digits on Sunday afternoon, with forward Aaliyah Edwards leading the pack with 20 points and 12 rebounds while also contributing two assists and one blocked shot. Graduate student Dorkha Juhasz and junior guard Nika Muhl also contributed double doubles, with Juhasz scoring 14 points and 11 rebounds and Muhl scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 assists. Graduate student Lou Lopez Senechal scored 14 points while junior Aubrey Griffin scored 11 points.
Junior forward Liza Karlen led the scoring for the Golden Eagles, scoring 18 points while freshman guard Mackenzie Hare scored 15 points.
The UConn Women completed 49.3 per cent of its shots while limiting Marquette to just 30.2 per cent of its shots.
UConn Head Coach Geno Auriemma, at a post game press conference, reflected that the Huskies’ February 8th loss to Marquette in Wisconsin came just three days after the Huskies’ loss to top ranked South Carolina and the team was operating at a low energy level, lacking their regular fire.
In contrast, the return of injured players to practice this week led to a greater confidence level, with an energy in March that was resulting in the team “going to the mattresses.”
The UConn Women will play the Villanova Wildcats in the Championship game on Monday at 7:00 p.m. after the Wildcats defeated the Creighton Bluejays in a hard fought game by a score of 63-61. Both teams played in last year’s Championship game, with UConn routing Villanova by the score of 70-40.