UConn women’s basketball took home the 83-59 win over the Seton Hall Pirates from Walsh Gymnasium on Wednesday night.
Paige Bueckers led the Huskies to the victory with a season-high 32 points. She also added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Aaliyah Edwards (17) and KK Arnold (15) both also contributed double-digits in the scoring column, while Arnold’s night included four triples. Nika Muhl added 10 assists and seven rebounds.
In a not-all-that-unfamiliar fashion, the Huskies got off to a slow start behind an early 3-point barrage from Seton Hall. The Pirates, who are averaged just 5.5 made threes per game coming in, shot 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. Five turnovers of their own added to the Huskies’ struggles, and resulted in a two point deficit for UConn at the end of the first ten minutes.
Entering the second quarter, Bueckers started to take over the game with two straight baskets to pull UConn ahead of the Pirates. From there, the Huskies didn’t look back and had built an 18 point lead by halftime.
UConn found its success by the same recipe that has been working for them throughout conference play. The Huskies had 11 points off of Seton Hall turnovers in the first half and had 14 assists on 17 made baskets.
They also shot the lights out for the first 20 minutes, making 71 percent from the floor. Bueckers had 17 points by halftime, and Edwards had 13 points on 4-4 shooting despite getting clobbered in the lane by Seton Hall’s defense. Mühl had also already tallied seven assists by the midway mark while Qadence Samuels also gave UConn great minutes off the bench, scoring five first half points for the Huskies.
The third quarter was mostly overshadowed by a collision over a loose ball that resulted in Bueckers and Arnold knocking heads on the floor. Bueckers was clearly in pain and shaken up following the contact, and headed to the bench where she put an ice pack on her neck. The Huskies avoided disaster and by late in the third, Bueckers went back into the game. In her absence, the Pirates had trimmed UConn’s lead down to 11 points.
Bueckers immediately scored upon reentering the game, but the Huskies’ lead dropped to just 10 points to close out the third quarter with Seton Hall seizing the momentum. UConn shot just 30.8 percent from floor in the third, with Bueckers and Ashlynn Shade being the lone Huskies to make a field goal. The Pirates, on the other hand, were 7-of-12 from the floor.
With a close margin entering the final frame in an already physical game, the game intensified in the last 10 minutes. Nine combined foul calls in the first half of the fourth stagnated the flow of the offense on both ends. Still, the Huskies fought back and extended their lead back to their previous high of 18 with 5:15 remaining. They built it to 24 by the final whistle.
UConn finished the game with 24 assists on 29 made field goals. The Huskies also won the rebounding battle with a 37-20 advantage on the glass. Edwards led the way with a team high nine boards. Eight of nine Huskies got in the scoring column in the win.
The Huskies return home for another Big East contest, against DePaul, on Saturday afternoon. They tip off at 2 p.m. from Gampel Pavilion on SNY.