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UConn women’s basketball dominates Seton Hall, 71-38

The Huskies controlled the paint en-route to a statement victory without Christyn Williams.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

With Christyn Williams out for the second straight game, UConn women’s basketball’s frontcourt stepped up to lead the Huskies to a dominant 71-38 win over the Seton Hall Pirates.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa scored a game-high 17 points to go along with 14 rebounds and five assists while Dorka Juhász added 12 points and nine rebounds. UConn out-rebounded Seton Hall 53-25 — including a 17-2 margin on the offensive glass and 21-2 advantage on second-chance points — and out-scored the visitors 38-8 in the paint.

Nika Mühl had the best game of her career. She set a season-high with 11 points, tied a career-high with three 3-pointers, and set a new career mark with seven rebounds. The sophomore also added four assists and was the only Husky not to turn the ball over.

The Huskies’ defense stifled the Pirates, limiting them to just 14-of-53 from the field. Lauren Park-Lane and Andra Espinoza-Hunter — who came into the game ranked third and fifth in the Big East in points per game — were held to 11 points and 2-of-19 shooting.

For the third time in the last five games, Caroline Ducharme scored UConn’s first points of the game. Then, Juhász followed up with the team’s next five points to give the Huskies a lead for good. While those two shouldered the scoring load early, Mühl provided the spark with five points, two assists, two rebounds, and a steal in the first five minutes alone.

After Seton Hall took a 2-0 lead, UConn responded with a 14-3 run to gain separation early.

From the start, the Huskies dominated inside and all but three of their 21 first-quarter points came from either in the paint or from the free-throw line after a foul in the paint. At the half, UConn grabbed nearly half of its 21 misses with 10 offensive rebounds and didn’t give up a single second-chance point over the opening 20 minutes.

The Huskies led by 10 points after the first quarter and went into halftime with a 16-point advantage.

In the third quarter, Nelson-Ododa took over and scored eight points — as many as the Pirates had as a team in the period. UConn didn’t take its foot off the gas in the fourth quarter and used a 13-2 run to push the gap past 30 points. The Huskies held Seton Hall to single-digit scoring in each of the last two periods and walked away with a 33-point victory.

Ducharme finished with seven points, the first time she didn’t reach double-figures in her last six games. Piath Gabriel added five points in the fourth quarter.

UConn has now gone 1,037 games without back-to-back losses after this win. The Huskies improve to 10-4 on the season and 5-0 in Big East play.

Next, UConn will head to Queens to take on St. John’s on Sunday. SNY will broadcast the action with tip-off set for 1 p.m.