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No. 7 UConn women’s basketball beats No. 10 Villanova 67-56 to win Big East Tournament

The Huskies claim their 28th overall conference tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball captured its 20th Big East Tournament title with a 67-56 win over the No. 10 Villanova Wildcats on Monday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. It is the Huskies’ 28th overall conference tournament championship and 10th straight. The victory gives them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Aaliyah Edwards won the tournament’s most outstanding player award with her third straight double-double, finishing with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Nika Mühl finished with five points, eight assists and six rebounds. Dorka Juhász had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Lou Lopez Sénéchal racked up 14 points — both made the all-tournament team.

Azzi Fudd played 32 minutes — the most since Nov. 27 vs. Iowa — and made four of her final eight shots after starting 0-for-4 en route to an 11-point night.

Aubrey Griffin left the game less than a minute into the third quarter, briefly went into the locker room and returned to the bench but didn’t go back in.

UConn held Villanova star Maddy Siegrist to 22 points and as a team, the Wildcats shot just 5-of-28 from three. The Huskies out-scored Villanova 38-20 in the paint.

Lopez Sénéchal scored seven of UConn’s first nine points during a back-and-forth first quarter. The Huskies held Villanova to just 24 percent shooting through 10 minutes but allowed 10 offensive rebounds, which kept the Wildcats close.

After the teams traded baskets in the first, the second quarter was all about runs. Villanova scored eight straight points to take a narrow 22-21 lead but UConn responded with a 13-2 spurt to take a 10-point advantage into the locker room — its largest of the day.

Out of the break, the Huskies threw the knockout punch. They quickly extended the lead to 15 points which prompted a Villanova timeout — though that did little to help. UConn then went on a 14-0 run and extend the gap out to 25 points.

The Wildcats slowly cut into the Huskies’ lead in the fourth quarter but never seriously mounted a comeback effort. UConn eventually finished with an 11-point win.

Next, the Huskies will learn their path to banner No. 12 on Selection Sunday — Sunday, March 12 at 8 p.m. ET.