No. 8 UConn women’s basketball got back in the win column with a hard-fought 80-48 victory over the No. 20 Maryland Terrapins in front of a sold-out crowd at Gampel Pavilion on Thursday night.
After an embarrassing showing in the loss to NC State, the Huskies’ defense bounced back with a lockdown effort. Led by Paige Bueckers (six steals), KK Arnold (five steals), and Aubrey Griffin (four blocks), UConn forced 27 turnovers and held Maryland to just 26 percent shooting on the night.
On the other end, Bueckers scored a game-high 24 points, Aaliyah Edwards (12 points), KK Arnold (12), and Ashlynn Shade (10) each finished in double-figures, and the nine other Huskies who played before the final minutes recorded at least a point. UConn won the points-off-turnover battle 29-9 and out-scored the visitors in the paint, 46-18.
Before the game, the team announced that Azzi Fudd would miss the contest after suffering a knee injury in practice earlier this week. Her long-term status is uncertain.
UConn started with a 7-0 run to open the game but struggled to pull away early on. The Huskies had no problem generating good looks but couldn’t consistently bury them. Down the other end, Maryland stayed in it via the 3-point line — of the Terps’ four baskets in the first quarter, three of them came from behind the arc.
Early in the second, UConn’s defense sputtered and Maryland took a brief 25-22 lead. That stretch was capped off by a pair of technical free throws after an intentional foul against Bueckers.
That proved to be the spark the Huskies needed to turn it around. They closed the half on 12-0 and 8-0 runs, a stretch of scoring only broken up by two free throws from the Terrapins. Bueckers scored from everywhere to help UConn take a 42-27 lead into the locker room — its largest of the day to that point.
The break didn’t disrupt the Huskies’ momentum. After a quick triple from Maryland, UConn scored 10 of the next 11 points to push its lead to 21, forcing Brenda Frese to take a timeout. It didn’t help.
The Terps managed just 21 points in the second half and as a result, never threatened a comeback bid. UConn managed the rest of the game well and came away with the 32-point victory.
Next, the Huskies will head to the North Star State to face off against Minnesota on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. for Paige Bueckers’ homecoming contest. The game will be televised on FS1.