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UConn women’s basketball pulls past Minnesota, 62-44

The Huskies rode a strong third quarter to victory in Paige Bueckers’ homecoming.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

A strong third quarter powered UConn women’s basketball to a 62-44 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday at Williams Arena. The Huskies led by just three at the half but went on a 14-0 run in the third quarter to pull away for the victory.

Paige Bueckers had 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in her home state and kept UConn’s offense afloat through a rough first half. Aaliyah Edwards led the team with 16 points and nine rebounds while Nika Mühl also reached double-figures with 11 points.

The Huskies’ defense starred, holding Minnesota to 26 percent shooting and a 6-34 day from behind the arc. UConn’s rebounding got off to a horrific start by allowing eight offensive boards in the first quarter but recovered to give up just six the rest of the way.

The Huskies didn’t score their first points until nearly three minutes into the game and made just four baskets in the opening quarter. Down the other end, they forced Minnesota into bad shots but couldn’t turn that into stops because they gave up eight offensive rebounds in the first 10 minutes.

The second quarter didn’t get much better. UConn’s offense continued to stagnate and couldn’t generate anything from the outside with 14 of its 15 points in the period coming in the paint. As a result, the Huskies never built more than a five point lead and went into the half up just 26-23.

The break proved to be exactly what UConn needed. The ball movement improved immediately on the first possession and the results followed. The Huskies ripped off a 14-0 run to take control of the game then closed the quarter with a 6-0 spurt — capped by a buzzer-beater from Arnold.

UConn maintained its lead in the fourth quarter and came away with an 18-point victory.

Next, the Huskies will head to the Caribbean for the Cayman Islands Classic. They’ll take on No. 13 UCLA first on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET followed by Kansas on Saturday.