New conference, same result.
On Monday night, UConn women’s basketball was crowned Big East Tournament champions with a 73-39 win over the Marquette Golden Eagles. It is the Huskies’ 19th Big East Tournament title and 53rd conference championship.
UConn gets a confetti shower as it lifts its newest trophy pic.twitter.com/2u5G375DPq— Daniel Connolly (@DanielVConnolly) March 9, 2021
Paige Bueckers was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after a 23-point, six-rebound and four-assist night in the championship game and 19.3 points, 5.0 assists and 5-11 shooting from beyond the arc over the three games at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa both made the All-Tournament team. Williams finished with 16 points in the final while Nelson-Ododa had a balanced night with five points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Nika Muhl added 11 points while Aaliyah Edwards dominated the glass with eight boards to go with six points.
UConn scored the opening seven points and made its first four shots of the game. The teams traded baskets for a few possessions before the Huskies pulled off another 13-0 run to increase their lead to 20 points with 90 seconds still left in the opening quarter.
While UConn dominated the paint in its first two Big East Tournament games, they did most of their damage from beyond the arc early on. The Huskies made five of six shots from 3-point range in just the first quarter alone and shot 50 percent (9-18) on the night from three.
In the second quarter, the Huskies slowed the pace down dramatically and with it, their scoring output. After a 29-point first quarter, they managed just 12 in the second and were outscored by Marquette. It didn’t make much of a difference, though, as the Golden Eagles only cut into the deficit by one point and UConn went into halftime up by 28.
Out of the locker room, the Huskies’ defense stymied Marquette, holding it to just seven points on three made field goals in the third quarter. While UConn had only increase its advantage by seven since the end of the first, the Golden Eagles couldn’t generate any consistent offense to threaten that lead. After an uneventful fourth quarter, the Huskies walked away with a 34-point victory to claim the hardware.
With the win, UConn receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio and will almost certainly be a No. 1 seed. The entire 64-team field will be announced on Monday, March 15.