No. 2 UConn women’s basketball started the NCAA Tournament in dominant fashion, dispatching the 15-seed Vermont Wildcats, 95-52.
Aaliyah Edwards dominated from start to finish, setting a career-high of 28 points on 13-of-15 shooting to go with seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks.
Azzi Fudd got her first start since Dec. 4 and scored UConn’s first bucket of the day en route to a five-point, four-rebound performance. Aubrey Griffin also returned after leaving the Big East Tournament championship game with back spasms, but only played six minutes.
Dorka Juhász recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and also added three blocks while Caroline Ducharme chipped in 12 points as well. Nika Mühl had 10 assists — her 11th time in double-figures this season.
All 10 Huskies scored on the day.
UConn opened on a 7-0 run, though its defense let up after the early lead which allowed Vermont to stick around through the first media timeout. The break allowed the Huskies to regroup, however, and they responded by closing the quarter on a 14-5 run.
That momentum carried into the second quarter. UConn scored the next nine points to push the gap past 20 points and after the Catamounts hit a pair of 3-pointers to temporarily stop the bleeding, the Huskies ripped off 12 straight to go up by 30 points. UConn went into the half with a 53-20 lead. Vermont came in allowing just 53.0 points per game — the seventh-best mark in the nation.
The Huskies only outscored the visitors by one in the third quarter, but it didn’t matter. UConn opened the fourth with a 9-0 run to extend the advantage past 40 points and never let Vermont any closer the rest of the way en route to the 43-point win.
The Huskies advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they’ll take on Baylor on Monday.