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No. 6 UConn women’s hoops loses at No. 20 Maryland, 85-78

The Huskies showed some fight but didn’t have enough on the road against a tough opponent.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Maryland at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

UConn women’s basketball lost its second game of the season, falling to Maryland 85-78 at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland.

Nika Mühl sat this one out in concussion protocol after hitting her head and leaving the Princeton game, joining the All-Star roster of Husky players that are currently injured.

Freshman Inês Bettencourt got the start in her place and helped the Huskies get off to a good start in this ranked road battle, but they didn’t have enough size or scoring ability to compete in the end. They also turned the ball over 22 times, after giving the ball up 27 times against Princeton.

Aaliyah Edwards played her heart out, finishing with 25 points on 11-16 shooting while grabbing seven boards and holding it down defensively in the post. She also dished out a team-leading six assists. Lou Lopez Senechal and Aubrey Griffin were the leading perimeter threats for the Huskies. Though Lopez-Senechal sat out much of the first half and chunks of the second half due to foul trouble, she finished with 11 points and five boards. Griffin had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

UConn led 19-15 after a first quarter where the defense looked solid and the offense was in-sync, but it didn’t last. Maryland eventually wore through the Husky defense and started to catch fire from behind the arc as well. Even though the Terps’ star Diamond Miller was quiet in the first half, her team took a 43-36 lead into the halftime break.

The Huskies played a competitive third quarter, closing the lead by three points as Ayanna Patterson gave them some spirited minutes and a spark off the bench. She finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Amari DeBerry also saw some extended action, making her presence felt with four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks, including a vicious block-steal that helped keep the game competitive late.

UConn tied the game at 62 early in the fourth quarter but Maryland had an answer for every surge. Caroline Ducharme had a quiet first half but picked up as the Huskies fought to keep this close. She finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

The game came down to the wire, but Maryland maintained its composure late to hold on for the win. Abby Meyers led the home team with 20 points while Shyanne Sellers scored 19 points and Miller finished with 17.

Geno and the squad have a lot to work on given the team’s injury situation. But the way these players fought and some new faces stepped up amid adversity is encouraging. The next few games on the schedule should not be as tough as this one.

Next up, the Huskies are at Mohegan Sun Arena hosting Florida State, in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN at 1 p.m.