In its first game at Gampel Pavilion in 45 days, UConn women’s basketball gave the home crowd a show in an 88-51 demolition of the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday.
Nika Mühl recorded seven assists, which moved her up to eighth on the Huskies’ all-time assists list with 550 total, passing Maya Moore (544), Kelly Faris (545), and Pam Webber (546) in the process.
DePaul couldn’t contain Aaliyah Edwards, who went 10-10 from the foul line as she scored 18 while grabbing four boards and three assists. Paige Bueckers also had a big afternoon with 20 points on 7-10 shooting along with five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Ashlynn Shade led the team with 21 points and seven rebounds. All nine Huskies scored in the win.
While UConn was just 3-14 from deep, it had a near-perfect 23-24 day from the free throw line. The Huskies scored 37 points off turnovers and also had a 48-10 edge in the paint.
UConn built a quick lead after making three of its first four shots but DePaul hung around early. The Blue Demons knocked down three triples before the first media timeout and even went up 11-10 at one point.
Then Shade turned the tide. First, she scored on a layup, stole the ensuing inbounds pass, and then knocked down a jumper. On DePaul’s next possession, Bueckers stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for the layup which forced the visitors to take a timeout. By the time the Blue Demons scored again, the Huskies had built a 14-point lead and were up by 16 at the end of the first quarter.
Through 10 minutes, UConn nearly had as many made baskets (12) as DePaul had field goal attempts (14).
The dominance continued into the second quarter. The Huskies held the Blue Demons to just three baskets while using a 14-0 run to push the gap past 20. UConn went into the locker room with a 49-21 lead.
Out of the break, the Huskies scored seven straight points to push the lead past 30 and force DePaul into another timeout. That didn’t slow the hosts down — Bueckers stole the ball on the ensuing possession and dished it to Mühl, who laid it in on the other end.
Geno Auriemma emptied his bench before the third period even ended, allowing the reserves and freshmen to close out the contest.
The Huskies extended their winning streak to 12 with the 37-point victory. Next, they’ll head to Milwaukee to take on the No. 22 Marquette Golden Eagles on Tuesday.