UConn women’s basketball opened its 2024 home slate by dominating the Providence Friars 85-41 at the XL Center on Wednesday night. The Huskies took the lead eight seconds in and never relinquished it.
The defense powered the blowout by forcing 28 Providence turnovers, which turned into 33 points the other way. KK Arnold set a career-high with eight steals while Paige Bueckers and Ashlynn Shade each had four. The Friars only scored 14 baskets.
All five starters scored in double-figures, led by Shade’s 17 points. Arnold added 16 points while Edwards had 12. Nika Mühl recorded her third career double-double with 10 points and 13 assists. She now has five games with 13+ assists, more than everyone else in program history combined (four games). Meanwhile, Bueckers stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
UConn needs just 2:06 to blow the game wide open. The Huskies jumped out to a 10-0 lead behind back-to-back layups from Arnold followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Mühl. Down the other end of the floor, Providence had one shot and three turnovers on its first four possessions before taking a timeout.
That briefly stemmed the bleeding, but it didn’t help. At one point, the Friars committed four turnovers in 35 seconds and finished the opening quarter with a staggering 13. After 10 minutes, UConn led 27-8.
The Huskies took their foot off the pedal in the second period. They shot 6-20 as a team and only won that quarter 15-11. UConn still went into halftime up by 23.
Geno’s squad got back on track in the third quarter and used a 12-0 run to push the lead past 40. UConn couldn’t be stopped in transition, scoring three straight buckets off the fast break at one point.
After an uneventful fourth quarter, the Huskies came away with a 44-point victory.
Next, UConn will head back on the road to take on St. John’s at UBS Arena on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET on SNY.