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UConn women’s basketball grinds out win over Seton Hall, 70-49

The Huskies were sluggish all night but used a late surge to take the victory.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Seton Hall at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but UConn women’s basketball did enough to pull out a 70-49 win over the Seton Hall Pirates.

The Huskies trailed by six points after the first quarter and one point at halftime before out-scoring Seton Hall 35-11 over the final 13:25 for their fourth win in the last seven days.

Paige Bueckers led the way with 23 points on 10-19 shooting. Olivia Nelson-Ododa earned her first double-double in nine games and fourth of the season with 15 points and 13 boards. Evina Westbrook did a little bit of everything with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Aaliyah Edwards totaled 11 points and seven rebounds.

Christyn Williams did not score in 26 minutes of play, going 0-6 from the field. It is her second scoreless performance of the season and just the third of her career.

In her return to Gampel Pavilion, former UConn forward Andra Espinoza-Hunter scored 15 points on 6-15 shooting, including a 3-9 effort from 3-point range.

UConn didn’t make their first 3-pointer until the third quarter and went just 4-16 from beyond the arc on the night. The Huskies held the Pirates to their fewest points of the season on 20-62 shooting (32.3 percent).

Seton Hall only scored seven points off the Huskies’ 18 turnovers while they totaled 27 points off the visitor’s giveaways.

UConn came out flat to start and Seton Hall took advantage, jumping out to an early 9-2 lead. The Huskies traded baskets for most of the first quarter and looked like they were just trying to hang on in the opening 10 minutes.

The Pirates took an 11-point lead early in the second quarter — their largest of the game — before UConn finally woke up and ripped off a 10-0 run, powered by eight points from Bueckers and Edwards.

Though UConn took its first lead soon after, it didn’t hold it as Seton Hall answered back and went into halftime up 27-26.

The Huskies had as many made baskets as turnovers (13) in the first half and failed to hit any of their seven attempts from 3-point range. Neither team got to the free throw line in the first 20 minutes.

Out of the break, UConn made a concerted effort to get the ball inside to Nelson-Ododa, where she exploited her significant height advantage for nine points on 4-5 shooting in the third quarter.

That helped the Huskies’ offense finally get into gear as UConn used a 12-0 run — boosted by its first 3-pointer of the game from Nika Mühl — to gain separation en route to a 23-point third quarter.

The Huskies didn’t waste much time putting the game away in the final period. They scored the first nine points to go up 15 and never let Seton Hall get closer than 13 after that. UConn eventually came away with a 21-point victory to improve to 15-1 on the season and 12-0 in the Big East.

Next, the Huskies will have one day off before they travel to face Georgetown on Friday.