UConn women’s basketball kicked off 2023 with a dominant 80-47 road win over the Butler Bulldogs.
The Huskies were without head coach Geno Auriemma, who traveled with the team but did not coach after feeling unwell pregame. In his place, Chris Dailey improved to 16-0 as acting head coach.
Caroline Ducharme also missed out after entering concussion protocol following an injury in practice on Monday. Azzi Fudd remained sidelined with a right knee injury, but Aubrey Griffin returned from a two-game absence due to COVID-19 and finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Aaliyah Edwards couldn’t be stopped, racking up 20 points, nine rebounds, and three assists on 10-of-12 shooting. Lou Lopez Sénéchal (11), Dorka Juhász (11), and Nika Mühl (13) also reached double figures on the night.
16 points, 8 rebounds, three assists and three steals so far for Aaliyah Edwards!— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 4, 2023
For the third straight game, UConn ran out to a big lead. The Huskies started with eight consecutive points before Butler scored and soon followed it up with a 10-0 stretch. The Bulldogs had no answer for Edwards, who had more points (10 to 8) and rebounds (7 to 4) than the hosts in the opening quarter.
While UConn led by 12 after one quarter and doubled up the score at 24-12 at one point, Butler didn’t just roll over and die. The Bulldogs used a 6-0 run to get back within single digits and scored nearly twice as many points in the first five minutes of the second quarter (15) as they did in the entire first quarter (8). They got as close as five points before the Huskies wrestled back control and closed the half by scoring 11 of the final 13 points. They went into the locker room up by 14.
Despite the comfortable advantage, UConn went just 1-of-8 from three in the first half while allowing Butler to shoot 5-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Out of the break, the Huskies quickly put the game away. They pushed the lead past 20 less than two minutes in and gave up just three baskets the entire quarter. UConn out-scored the visitors 25-7 in the period and doubled up the lead 64-32, which made the final 10 minutes little more than a formality. In the end, the Huskies came out with a 33-point victory.
UConn improves to 12-2 on the season and 5-0 in Big East play. Next, it travels to Cincinnati to take on Xavier on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.