How to watch
When: Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Radio: UConn Sports Network (97.9 ESPN and affiliates)
Record: 2-15 (2-14 Big East)
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Head coach: Kurt Godlevske (seventh season)
With its visit to Butler on Saturday, UConn women’s basketball will conclude its longest road trip in over 40 years. The Huskies’ upcoming game will be their fifth-straight away from home, something that hasn’t happened since the 1979-80 season.
UConn’s program looked a bit different back then. Geno Auriemma wouldn’t arrive in Storrs for another six seasons and instead, the Huskies had Wanda Flora at the helm — her final year as head coach. There also wouldn’t be an NCAA women’s basketball tournament for another two seasons.
While this year’s iteration of the Huskies traveled to Washington, DC, New York, Ohio, Nebraska, and Indiana during their current road trip, the 1979-80 Huskies only left New England once all season when they played two back-to-back games down in North Carolina against Duke and UNC. Coach Flora’s squad beat the Blue Devils but were torched by the Tarheels, losing by 33.
UConn was 8-10 as it prepared for the five-game road swing, having played teams such as Keene State, Bridgewater State, and Bentley earlier in the year. Those weren’t cupcake opponents, either — the Huskies lost to Keane State 64-58 on the road.
First, UConn traveled down to New Haven to play Southern Connecticut, a strong program at the time. The Huskies were no match and got whipped 91-62. After that, they went to Brown and earned a 74-60 win — their penultimate victory of the season. UConn played Providence four days later and lost by 26, then got crunched 92-62 at UNH. Finally, the Huskies finished up the road trip against Springfield, where they fell 83-70.
UConn played two more games, a win at home vs. Vermont and a loss at Harvard before the season came to an end on Feb. 27.
Chris Gedney was the team’s leading scorer (17.8 per game) and rebounder (8.8) while Susan Sturman dished out a team-high 4.6 assists per game. Defensively, Mary Ellen Langfield led the team with .5 blocks per game while Cathy Bochain picked up 2.9 steals per contest.
Despite not playing for 10 days before, UConn demolished Butler in mid-January, 103-35. Aubrey Griffin earned her first career start and all five of the Huskies’ starters finished in double figures. With the win, Auriemma surpassed Pat Summit with his 1,099th career victory.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Butler’s only two wins this season have come at home to Georgetown (2-13 overall, ninth in the Big East) and Xavier (4-9, last in Big East). Only one of the Bulldogs’ losses has been within single digits.
According to Her Hoop Stats, they are the 13th-worst team in the nation. They rank in the bottom 10 percent in points per game, opponent points per game, field goal percentage, total rebounding rate, turnover rate, and assists per game.
Okako Adika leads the team with 13.4 points per game while Genesis Parker chips in 12.7 per game. Jaia Alexander, who went to high school with Mir McLean, grabs a squad-best 7.2 rebounds per game.
By the numbers
35.8 — Despite being called the “worst three-point shooting team in America” by Auriemma earlier this season, UConn actually holds the top mark in the Big East by making 35.8 percent from beyond the arc.
116 — Paige Bueckers is up to 116 assists on the season, tied for fifth-most by a freshman in program history along with Maya Moore. She’s now just seven behind the top mark, currently held by Pam Webber and Renee Montgomery.