clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UConn women face DePaul in Bridgeport

After breaking for exams, the women's basketball team gets back to work Friday night at UConn's third home, Webster Bank Arena.

Moriah Jefferson and the Huskies are back in action Friday night against No. 25 DePaul.
Moriah Jefferson and the Huskies are back in action Friday night against No. 25 DePaul.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off nearly a two-week exam break, Friday night offers a bit of a challenge for the UConn women’s basketball team. They will face a familiar, yet dangerous opponent in a former conference foe in a somewhat familiar venue.

The No. 2 Huskies will face No. 25 DePaul, a former Big East rival, at 7:30 p.m. (SNY and ESPN3) at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. The Blue Demons (7-3) are coming off a Sweet 16 performance from last season and a heart-breaking 94-93 overtime loss to No. 5 Notre Dame last week in Chicago. UConn (6-1) has not played since routing the Irish 76-58 on Dec. 6.

This has all the makings of an up-tempo, face paced game.

DePaul is high a scoring offense and they shoot a lot of three-pointers. As a team, they are scoring 91.5 points per game. They make over 10 threes per game and are coming off a 109-84 win at Loyola-Chicago, while going 16-for-33 from long range.

The Blue Demons have four players who score in double figures. They are lead by Brittany Hrynko who is averaging 18.8 per game. She is followed by Jessica January (15.4 points) Megan Powkowa (15.8 points and 7.4 rebounds) and Megan Rogowski (14.0 points) in scoring.

This is the third game for DePaul against a top five opponent this season. They lost their previous two match-ups (Texas A&M and Notre Dame). UConn has only played two opponents in the top 25, going 1-1 (Notre Dame and Stanford).

The Huskies are coming off their best game of the season. Morgan Tuck and Kiah Stokes had career days against the Irish in South Bend, Indiana. Tuck was unstoppable scoring a career high 25 points. Stokes was a defensive force grabbing 18 rebounds. Breanna Stewart had a quiet 15 points with nine rebounds.

UConn is scoring just under 90 points per game. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is averaging 17 points per game, followed by Stewart with 16.4 points and 7.1 rebounds. Kia Nurse (13.4) and Tuck (14.3) are the two other starters who are scoring in double figures.

Tonight, expect Moriah Jefferson (9.3 points) to improve on her overall performance. Her last outing she was scoreless, committed five turnovers before fouling out.

This game takes on a different tone of sorts in terms of coaching.

Where many coaches have complained about some poor and nonexistent relationships with UConn coach Geno Auriemma, DePaul’s Doug Bruno is not one of those coaches. Both have a long-term friendship and mutual respect for each other. For the past four-plus years, Bruno has assisted Auriemma with coaching the USA Women’s Basketball National Team at the FIBA World Championships (2010 and 2014) and Olympics (2012 and 2016).

UConn will face their second of three opponents from the reconfigured Big East Conference. The Huskies routed Creighton 96-60 on Nov. 23 at Gampel Pavilion. They will face St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 4 in the Maggie Dixon Classic.

The Huskies has won their last 11 meetings with DePaul. Their last meeting was at the 2013 Big East Quarterfinals in Hartford which UConn won 94-61.

This is the first time that UConn will be playing in the state of Connecticut since before Thanksgiving. They have only played one home game this season.

This will be only the second time two-time defending national champions will make a regular season trip to play in the Park City. Last year, the Huskies defeated Temple on their newly found home court in Fairfield County. Over the past decade UConn has played 10 NCAA Tournament games at this arena. Overall, they are 10-1 in Bridgeport.

Next up for the Huskies will be Sunday afternoon as they head to the southeastern part of Connecticut when they play UCLA in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.