The UConn women’s basketball season came to a surprising end in the national semifinal as the Arizona Wildcats delivered a massive upset, winning 69-59. The Huskies’ offense no-showed and went just 7-22 on layups in the loss in a game where they never had the lead.
Christyn Williams carried UConn with 20 points but fouled out on a phantom call with 3:51 left in the game. Paige Bueckers finished with 18 points while the rest of the Huskies combined for just 21 points. Arizona’s Aari McDonald dropped 26 points and got to the foul line 11 times.
UConn missed its first four shots, which was a bad omen for the rest of the game. The Huskies failed to find any sort of flow or rhythm against a smothering Arizona defense and scored just 10 points on 3-14 shooting in the first quarter.
The Wildcats scored two quick baskets to start the second which pushed their lead to 10 points. Williams single-handedly kept UConn in the game, scoring 10 of the team’s 12 points in the quarter to keep the deficit at 10 going into the locker room.
Though Arizona’s defense gave the Huskies fits, they also just missed easy baskets, going 2-9 on layups in the first half. UConn also struggled to contain Aari McDonald, who had 15 points and made 4-7 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes.
Out of the break, the Huskies got within five points after a 3-pointer from Williams but Arizona immediately responded with a 7-0 run to go up 12. The Wildcats eventually pushed that advantage to 14 points — the largest deficit UConn faced this season.
The Huskies started to claw their way back with a 5-0 spurt to get within single digits entering the fourth quarter and soon after whittled the gap down to seven. UConn couldn’t get closer than five points despite extending the final two minutes with free throws as Arizona came away with the 10-point victory.
Evina Westbrook was the only other Husky to reach double-figures with 10 points. Olivia Nelson-Ododa played just 20 minutes, scored one point, and missed all seven shots she took.
The Huskies have now lost four consecutive Final Four games and have failed to win a national championship for the fifth season in a row — tying the program’s longest such drought since 1995.
While the season has ended, every player on this team has eligibility remaining and next year this offseason the Huskies will welcome another strong recruiting class highlighted by no. 1 prospect Azzi Fudd. UConn ends the season with a 28-2 record.