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UConn women’s basketball outlasts Providence, 69-61

Christyn Williams led UConn to victory with 19 points.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball earned the win at Providence Sunday evening, 69-61. Though the final margin was in single digits, the Huskies were in control most of the way and pulled away in the fourth quarter but allowed a larger lead to whittle away down the stretch.

Christyn Williams led the Huskies, scoring 19 points and shooting 67 percent from the floor, including 2-3 from three-point range. She also led the team with seven rebounds and added four assists. Evina Westbrook, Caroline Ducharme, and Olivia Nelson-Ododa also scored in double figures.

In the latest of setbacks for UConn, the Huskies were without Dorka Juhász who missed the game with a foot injury. Aaliyah Edwards replaced Juhász in the starting lineup, and had arguably her best half of the season, scoring seven points while grabbing four rebounds and four assists in the first half. She finished the game with nine points, six boards, and a team-high five assists.

Providence forced UConn to find success in the half-court offense, allowing UConn only four fast-break points in the game. The Huskies built on their lead throughout the game but failed to execute on the offensive end for stretches and allowed Providence to hang around. The Friars turned 16 UConn turnovers into 20 points. The Huskies also had no answer for Janai Crooms who scored 27 points on 8-11 shooting from the floor in the ballgame.

It wasn’t a banner first quarter for the UConn offense. They started the game 1-6 from the floor and turned the ball over four times, but got things going late in the quarter to reach 15 points. Defensively, the Huskies were disruptive in the passing lanes and held Providence to just 3-15 shooting from the floor.

Both teams started shooting the ball in the second quarter, trading baskets back and forth. Turnovers continued to plague the Huskies but they closed the half on a 13-0 run to head into the locker room with a 36-23 lead.

Providence outscored UConn 19-14 in the third quarter. The Friars doubled the Huskies field goal attempts due to a combination of UConn turnovers and cleaning up on the offensive glass. That left the Huskies’ lead in single digits heading into the final quarter. They started the final period with a 6-0 run to pull away, and while the lead shrank in the final minutes, the Huskies were in control throughout the final ten minutes.

UConn has another Big East road contest up next, at Creighton Wednesday night. The game will be televised at 7:30 p.m. on SNY.