UConn women’s basketball hit the road Wednesday night to take on Vanderbilt University, near senior Crystal Dangerfield’s home city of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The Huskies put away the Commodores easily with a 64-51 win.
The Huskies made a statement on the defensive end, forcing 23 turnovers. Coming out in the second half, they looked like their old selves on the offensive end but the Huskies failed to close it out on a strong note, getting outscored by Vanderbilt in the final quarter.
UConn traded buckets with Vanderbilt to open up the first quarter. Unlike Sunday’s opener, they started out hot, shooting 6-10 from the floor. The Huskies jumped out to a lead in the second quarter after an 11-2 run. But poor shooting and rebounding to close out the quarter, along with nine turnovers, allowed Vanderbilt to stay within striking distance heading into halftime.
The Huskies did force 12 first half turnovers on the other end, including three steals from Aubrey Griffin. Christyn Williams and Megan Walker thrived in transition, both finishing the half in double figures.
UConn came out with some fire in the second half, in a classic display of Connecticut basketball. They opened the third quarter with a 16-4 run and extended the lead to 22 in just five minutes. The strong offensive performance was sparked by more aggression on the defensive end, which led to easy buckets and allowed UConn to get into a rhythm.
The Huskies continued to dominate throughout the quarter, eventually building the lead up to 26 points. However, they let things slip in the final few minutes behind turnovers and fouls on back-to-back possessions. They started off the fourth quarter on a similar note, as the Commodores ultimately closed out the final quarter outscoring UConn 17-11.
Despite a lackluster final 10 minutes from the Huskies, Olivia Nelson-Ododa had an overall strong performance. She scored a career high 14 points, while also adding 12 boards, 4 assists and 5 blocks. Walker also shined, finishing with 25 points.
In an improvement from Sunday’s opener, freshmen Ana Makurat and Aubrey Griffin also contributed more to the Huskies win in Nashville. Makurat had a team high five assists, while Griffin added 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 points.
The Huskies continue their road trip this weekend with an early conference game against Temple in Philadelphia on Sunday.