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UConn Women’s Basketball Falls to No. 3 Louisville, 78-69

The Huskies lose in a disappointing road performance.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball dropped its second regular season game of the season, falling at No. 3 Louisville 69-78. Despite a valiant effort in the final minutes, the Huskies couldn’t fight back for the win.

The Huskies started off trading baskets with Louisville for the whole first quarter, finishing all tied up at 21 points apiece. The Cardinals put up all 21 points without help from star guard Asia Durr. Crystal Dangerfield excelled at her defensive assignment, holding Durr scoreless in the first quarter.

Unfortunately the start of the second quarter did not go quite as swimmingly, with Durr hitting three straight three-point shots for a single-handed 9-0 Louisville run. However, the Huskies adjusted to a bigger lineup with Auriemma playing Olivia Nelson-Ododa for the majority of the second quarter. The Huskies were able to go on a run of their own, and headed into the locker room down just two points.

Napheesa Collier picked up another career milestone, becoming the eighth player in UConn history with 1,000 rebounds, as she tried to put the team on her back tonight. She led the way for the Huskies with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Collier was the only player who shot over 50 percent from the floor, making 9 of her 16 shots. The remainder of the starting lineup struggled on offense, with the team finishing just 38 percent from the floor.

Despite picking up two early fouls in the first quarter, she played all 20 minutes of the first half. The senior showed her experience with the ability to play well and avoid picking up further foul trouble, finishing the half with 9 points and 7 rebounds.

Dangerfield also had 9 points in the first half, including going 3-5 from beyond the arc. Megan Walker led the team on the glass with 9 rebounds, and would eventually finish a game high 12 boards.

As the Huskies fell further into a deficit in the third quarter, Auriemma wasn’t pleased with Williams and Walker. He sent Olivia Nelson-Ododa back into the game, along with Kyla Irwin. Mikayla Coombs also got key minutes, but no one could provide an answer off the bench. Nelson-Ododa was the only player outside of the starting lineup to score, and she had just two points in the first half.

Without another offensive answer, UConn sunk further down heading into the final quarter down by seven, and never managed to close the gap.

The Huskies stay on the road for their next game this Saturday at noon against Cincinnati.