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UConn women’s basketball overwhelms Minnesota, 88-58

The Huskies allowed Minnesota to keep it close but ended up running away with the win in Atlantis.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball advanced to 2-0 on the season after beating Minnesota in their first game in the Battle 4 Atlantis, 88-58.

Christyn Williams led the way with a career-high 31 points, adding four rebounds and three assists, while Evina Westbrook was the only other Husky in double digits with 16 points to go along with four assists. The Huskies shot 62% from the field and 82% from the free-throw line.

UConn jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start, opening with threes from Paige Bueckers and Westbrook followed by Williams, who was absolutely dominant. Geno Auriemma went to his bench at the midway point of the first quarter and from then on, Minnesota outscored the Huskies and climbed back into the contest.

The Gophers came into the game making fewer than a third of their shots from beyond the arc but caught fire from deep in the first half. They hit 9-15 from three in the first 20 minutes and came within one point of the Huskies in the second quarter.

But then, Williams took over. The senior hit a three to stop the bleeding and proceeded to score UConn’s next nine points, sparking a 16-5 run that built the lead to 47-35 at the half.

The Huskies’ dominance continued to start the second half, as Minnesota didn’t score until 5:51 into the third quarter and only notched eight points in that period. After a cold first half, Bueckers got involved early in the second, scoring UConn’s first five points on her way to finishing with eight points, six rebounds, and eight assists.

In the fourth quarter, Piath Gabriel and Caroline Ducharme got some run. Ducharme scored her first points as a Husky and finished with four. Freshman Azzi Fudd finished with five points and four rebounds.

Geno’s squad also dominated down low, with 48 points in the paint to the Gophers’ 14 down low, and won the rebounding battle, 34-19. Aliyah Edwards (8 points, 4-4 shooting, 2 rebounds), Olivia Nelson-Ododa (6 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assist), and Dorka Juhasz (6 points, 1 rebound) all had solid performances. Juhasz played 12 minutes while Edwards and Nelson-Ododa both played for about 25 minutes.

Tomorrow, UConn will play the winner of USF vs. Syracuse, and FloSports will once again broadcast the game.