Megan Walker was out with a fever for UConn’s 98-42 win over Saint Louis Tuesday night, leaving room for the bench to impact the game. Freshman Olivia Nelson-Ododa stepped up and did just that.
Nelson-Ododa has already become a top option off the bench for the Huskies. She was the only player outside the starting lineup to enter the Notre Dame game Sunday and played 16 minutes with Napheesa Collier in foul trouble, adding five points, five rebounds, and a block against the Irish. She also picked up four fouls while on the floor.
On Tuesday, Nelson-Ododa had another opportunity to show her ability to be a sixth option for the Huskies. The freshman played 23 minutes against Saint Louis and recorded her first career double-double, scoring 12 points and adding 10 rebounds without picking up a single foul.
Nelson-Ododa played 14 minutes alongside the starters in the first three quarters. While she only scored two points with the Huskies’ other weapons on the floor, she made an impact on the glass by tallying rebounds rebounds and three blocks.
In the fourth quarter when the majority of the starters headed to the bench, Nelson-Ododa shined offensively, scoring 10 of the team’s 27 points. She also collected an additional three rebounds and blocked two more shots.
During her entire time on the floor Tuesday night, Nelson-Ododa blocked approximately 22 percent of Saint Louis’ two-point attempts and collected 19.5 percent of the rebounds available on the defensive end. She also collected an impressive 22 percent of offensive rebounds available.
If Nelson-Ododa can continue to improve her game and play at a higher level like she did Tuesday, she may be the sixth option the Huskies have been looking for. Her size and presence on the glass will be helpful for UConn as they face teams with better size rebounding ability, starting with Katie Lou Samuelson's homecoming game against No. 13 California on Dec. 22.