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AAC Quarterfinals: UConn women’s basketball obliterates Temple, 94-61

The Huskies opened the postseason with another strong offensive performance.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball opened the AAC Tournament with an offensive outburst, crushing the Temple Owls 94-61.

Aubrey Griffin put together her best performance of the season with a career-high 16 rebounds to pair with 15 points. Eight of those boards came on the offensive glass as well, also a new best for the freshman.

Crystal Dangerfield led the way with 22 points, hitting 6-9 from three-point land. Makurat did a little bit of everything, racking up 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Newly-crowned AAC Player of the Year Megan Walker finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Olivia Nelson-Ododa finished with 12 points and eight rebounds while Christyn Williams added 12 points as well.

UConn stumbled out of the gate, allowing Temple to build an early 9-2 lead. However, threes from Crystal Dangerfield and Megan Walker got the Huskies back within one point at the first media timeout before Olivia Nelson-Ododa put them ahead with an offensive rebound put back on the other side.

Nelson-Ododa didn’t last long, though. She picked up her second foul late in the first period and ended up on the bench, which resulted in Aubrey Griffin entering the game. The freshman made an instant impact, earning a double-double in just 12 minutes of action before halftime with 12 points and 10 rebounds — four of which came on the offensive board.

Griffin put UConn ahead after one quarter with a layup in the final seconds before teaming up with fellow freshman Anna Makurat to extend the Huskies lead in the second. Griffin scored six of UConn’s first nine points of the quarter before Makurat dropped six points in a row herself.

The Huskies sandwiched Temple’s baskets with runs of seven points, six points, nine points and five points, respectively, to flair the lead to as wide as 20 points at one point. The freshmen scored 18 of UConn’s 32 second quarter points as it entered the locker room with a comfortable 47-29 lead.

Out of the half, the Huskies continued to pour it on. An early 8-0 spurt pushed UConn’s lead over 20 points for good while all five starters split the team’s first five baskets of the quarter amongst themselves.

Temple never threatened a threatened a comeback as the Huskies sailed to a 33-point victory.

Six players reached double-figures for UConn — a season-high. The Huskies also set a new season-best with just six turnovers, four fewer than its previous low.

UConn improves to 27-3 on the season and 137-0 all-time in AAC play. The Huskies will return to action on Sunday, facing the USF Bulls at 4 p.m. with a trip to the AAC championship game on the line.