How to watch
When: Feb. 25, 5:00 p.m.
Where: DJ Skokol Arena, Creighton, NE
Radio: UConn Sports Network (97.9 ESPN and affiliates)
Record: 7-9 (6-6 Big East)
Standings: Sixth place
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Head coach: Jim Flanery (18th year)
Whenever Aaliyah Edwards’ teammates post about her on Instagram, any comments are usually accompanied by a vegetable emoji ( ) or two. While it may seem random on the surface, the freshman revealed she’s a vegetarian during a Zoom call with reporters on Tuesday.
“I’ve been vegetarian since I was seven. So the joke around (the team) is I’m a strong body off vegetables, off greens,” she said with a laugh. “So that’s probably why you’d see the vegetable emojis.”
For Edwards, the decision to stop eating meat was an ethical decision. Once she learned where meat came from as a little kid, there was no going back.
“I was learning about the process of how you get meat and everything and as a young child you can lowkey be traumatized a little bit so I would steer away from meat,” Edwards said. “My parents would obviously try and make me eat meat just because it’s kind of unhealthy for me (not to eat it) being so young, but still I refused to eat it.”
Eventually, her parents caved and stop trying to force it on her, though her mom also converted to a vegetarian diet to support her daughter.
“What ended up happening was my mom became vegetarian with me to kind of help me make sure that I’m getting the right food groups, right nutrition, and kind of guide me through that process. But yeah, I stuck it out ever since then,” Edwards said.
Since she’s now been a vegetarian for over a decade, Edwards broke down some of her favorite things to eat.
“I really like tofu, rice and tofu, a teriyaki tofu, I like a sweet and sour tofu,” she said. “I eat a lot of beans if I’m having like tacos, enchiladas, or quinoa with a good wrap.”
Anna Makurat update
Geno Auriemma didn’t have any new information about Anna Makurat’s status after UConn’s win over Xavier on Saturday but hoped she’d be back in time for the Big East Tournament. In the meantime, he credited the sophomore with keeping herself in shape despite the injury. He also mentioned that she’s been able to shoot recently, though she remains out indefinitely.
“When she would actually be able to play, I don’t have a date for you yet,” Auriemma said.
Scouting the Blue Jays
Over its last five games, Creighton took down Seton Hall in overtime and secured an 11-point win over No. 19 DePaul, but also lost to eighth-place Providence at home, squeaked out an ugly 42-41 win at Georgetown, and fell to Marquette on the road. Essentially, the Blue Jays can’t figure out if they’re good or bad.
That inconsistency is perhaps summed up best with this: Creighton is 16th in the country with a 77.8 free throw percentage but score just 13.2 percent of their total points from the line — 19th-worst nationally. Her Hoop Stats rates the Blue Jays as the 169th-best in Division I (343 teams total).
Temi Carda leads the team with 13.2 points per game while two other players also average double-figures. Tatum Rembao dishes a team-high 4.0 assists per game while Carly Bachelor leads the way with 5.6 rebounds per game.
UConn faced Creighton in just its third game of the season back on Dec. 17 and came away with an easy 80-47 win. Olivia Nelson-Ododa took over, scoring 24 points on 9-for-9 shooting — tied for the second-most made baskets in a single game without a miss in program history. Nika Mühl sat out with a left foot injury which meant the Huskies rolled with a seven-player rotation until the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Auriemma’s now-classic comment calling his team “the worst shooting team in America” happened during halftime of this game as well.
By the numbers
3,652 — With a win, UConn will clinch the Big East regular-season championship outright — it’s first since the 2010-11 season. That year, the Huskies secured the title on Feb. 26 — almost exactly one decade ago, a span of 3,652 days.
4 — This will be UConn’s fourth game in the state of Nebraska and the first in Omaha. The Huskies were sent to the Lincoln Regional for the 2014 NCAA Tournament where they dispatched BYU in the Sweet Sixteen and Texas A&M in the Elite Eight en route to title No. 9. The Huskies traveled to the Cornhusker State again during the 2016-17 season, where they defeated Nebraska, 84-41.
107 — Paige Bueckers is up to 107 assists on the season, which puts her in the top 10 for the most in a single season by a freshman in program history. She’s only 16 assists behind Pam Webber for the all-time mark.