UConn women’s basketball will take on the Minnesota Gophers on Nov. 19, 2023 next season for Paige Bueckers’ homecoming game, the team announced on Tuesday. Bueckers hails from Hopkins, Minnesota, roughly 15 minutes outside Minneapolis.
The Huskies are 3-0 all-time against Minnesota. They met last season in the Battle 4 Atlantis, where UConn won comfortably, 88-58. The Huskies also beat the Gophers in the 2004 Final Four, 67-58.
This won’t be Bueckers’ first collegiate game back in her home state. She also played there during the 2022 Final Four at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Bueckers has already committed to returning next season even though she’s eligible for the 2023 WNBA Draft. The homecoming doesn’t guarantee she’ll leave after the 2023-24 campaign, either. Bueckers will have three years of eligibility left when she gets back and while the Huskies typically return to a player’s home state during their final year, they have done so earlier — such as 2017-18, when they played at UCLA during Katie Lou Samuelson’s junior season.
Although UConn has now secured a homecoming for Bueckers, it might be difficult to do the same for the other seniors: Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl, who are from Canada and Croatia, respectively.
During Kia Nurse’s senior season in 2018, the Huskies traveled to Toronto to play Duquesne but it could be difficult to schedule something like that again. For Mühl, UConn can’t head overseas for one contest but it could play Ball State, where Nika’s younger sister, Hana, is currently a freshman.