In its final game of the regular season, UConn women’s basketball bludgeoned the Providence Friars on Senior Day, 88-31.
The Huskies’ four seniors — Dorka Juhász, Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Evina Westbrook and Christyn Williams — all got the start after being honored pregame, while Paige Bueckers rejoined the starting lineup in her second game back from injury.
Juhász picked her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Williams led all scorers with 16 points, Nelson-Ododa totaled 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and Westbrook notched eight points and seven rebounds.
Bueckers had a team-high five assists to go with two points in 13 minutes. Meanwhile, the freshmen guards both had good days as Azzi Fudd added 14 points while Caroline Ducharme finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.
UConn dominated in practically every aspect of the game but it came through best down low. The Huskies grabbed 19 of their 42 misses (45 percent) for 29 second-chance points, out-rebounded the Friars 57-35 and held a 46-10 margin on points in the paint.
It took UConn nearly four minutes to make its first shot after starting 0-7 from the field but once the lid came off the basket, the points began to flow. The Huskies turned a 4-1 deficit into a 25-4 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a 24-0 run as all nine players in UConn’s rotation saw action in the opening 10 minutes while seven of them scored.
The domination continued into the second quarter. The Huskies went on 11-0 and 8-0 runs and led 51-10 at halftime — which was their largest margin at the half as well as their fewest points allowed and tied for most points scored in a half this season.
Providence couldn’t do anything right on the offensive end. At the midway mark, it was just 4-25 from the field while both Williams (13) and Nelson-Ododa (11) single-handedly outscored the visitors. In fact, the Friars had more turnovers (11) than they had points in the first 20 minutes.
Out of the locker room, Providence scored 12 points in the third quarter — more than it had in the entire first half — but it didn’t matter as UConn extended the lead to 47 points. The Huskies continued their trend of having at least one run of at least eight points while the Friars didn’t score back-to-back baskets in the third quarter.
In the fourth, UConn pushed the advantage over 50 points and eventually earned a 57-point win on senior day. They finish the regular season with a 21-5 overall record and 15-1 mark in the Big East, which earned them the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament next week.
UConn will return to action in the Big East Quarterfinals on Saturday (opponent TBD) at Mohegan Sun at noon.