One week after destroying LSU at the XL Center, the UConn Huskies (9-0) are back in action at UConn's second home to take on No. 5 Maryland in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden. These two teams last met in the 2015 Final Four, an 81-58 Husky win.
The Huskies are playing all three of the other teams from last year's Final Four, having already faced Notre Dame and with a road date against South Carolina on the schedule for February.
The Huskies played their previous game without superstar senior Breanna Stewart, who was sidelined due to an ankle injury. It hardly mattered as five Huskies scored in double figures, led by Moriah Jefferson's 17-point effort. Top recruit Katie Lou Samuelson started in Stewart's place, scoring 13 points. Stewart should be fully healthy for tonight.
Another freshman, Napheesa Collier, has been very impressive as of late. Collier made her way into the starting lineup against Florida State and just earned her second American conference Freshman of the Week honors. She scored seven points, grabbed 12 rebounds, made four steals and swatted six shots in the win over LSU. Collier has had four steals in three consecutive games.
The Terrapins come into this game with an 11-0 record and have yet to be challenged by any team so far this season, having faced zero ranked teams. The friendly schedule has helped them lead the country so far in scoring and average margin of victory on the season.
Maryland was the preseason pick to win the Big Ten while juniors Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough made the preseason All-Big Ten team. The Terrapins return three starters from last year's Final Four team and added three McDonald's All-Americans in the freshman class as well. Walker-Kimbrough is currently the team's leading scorer with 19.2 ppg.
The Maggie Dixon Classic is an annual early-season event which started in 2006. It is played in honor of former Army women's basketball coach Maggie Dixon, who passed away unexpectedly due to a heart condition shortly after leading the Black Knights to their first NCAA Tournament appearance. She was the younger sister of Pittsburgh men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon.
After tonight, the Huskies will play in their first conference game of the season as they travel to Ohio for a matchup with Cincinnati on Wednesday.