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UConn women’s basketball destroys St. John’s, 77-32

Christyn Williams put together her best game of the season in the win.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Connecticut at St. John’s Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Behind one of its best performances of the season, UConn women’s basketball destroyed the St. John’s Red Storm, 72-32.

The Huskies (17-1, 14-0 Big East) shot 64.7 percent (33-51) from the floor, their best mark since the 2017-18 season. Christyn Williams (21 points), Paige Bueckers (20) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (17) carried the offensive load and combined for 58 of UConn’s 72 points.

Bueckers also chipped in nine assists while Nelson-Ododa grabbed seven rebounds. Evina Westbrook failed to score but still recorded eight rebounds and seven assists, and Nika Muhl dished out five assists herself. Aaliyah Edwards also reached double-figures with 10 points.

After shooting 50 percent in its last meeting against UConn, St. John’s went just 14-48 from the floor. Leilani Correa, who dropped 33 points in that game, only scored two points.

It took UConn two minutes to record its first shot from the field but ultimately it didn’t matter. The Huskies’ defense gave St. John’s fits and forced the hosts to settle for bad shots.

Once the Huskies locked in on offense, they scored in a variety of ways. Nelson-Ododa dominated the Red Storm in the paint while Bueckers and Williams both excelled from around the arc. UConn scored 20 of its 46 first half points in the paint and also made 4-6 from 3-point range.

While the Huskies built a comfortable 12-point lead in the first quarter, their lead quickly ballooned in the second. They used a 7-0 and 12-0 run to pull away and pushed the gap up to 31 going into halftime.

UConn shot a ridiculous 76 percent (19-25) from the field in the first half while the Red Storm made just seven of their 26 shots.

Though St. John’s nearly scored as many points in the third quarter (14) as it did in the entire first half (15), it never threatened the Huskies. The Red Storm also followed up with a three-point fourth quarter as UConn waltzed to a 45-point win.

In the final minutes, Piath Gabriel had an impressive sequence where she cut to the basket and scored on one end and then blocked a shot on the other. Saylor Poffenbarger also flashed her potential when she posted up, finished through contact and made the ensuing free throw for an old fashioned three-point play.

Next, UConn will head to Cincinnati on Saturday to face up the Xavier Musketeers.