UConn women’s basketball closes DePaul, 84-60

UConn women’s basketball rebounded from its first conference loss in nine years on Wednesday with a dominating victory over the DePaul Blue Demons, 84-60. With the victory, the Huskies extend their unbeaten streak to 1,044 games since 1993.

UConn was once again without Caroline Ducharme (head) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (groin) while DePaul’s Sonya Morris (17.9 points, 3.4 assists per game) didn’t play either.

Without Nelson-Ododa, the big Huskies dominated the day. Dorka Juhász scored a season-high 22 points with eight rebounds and four assists while Aaliyah Edwards finished with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists. Christyn Williams (20 points) and Evina Westbrook (10 points) both hit double digits, though Nika Mühl had nine points, five assists and five rebounds.

DePaul rookie Aneesah Morrow, who had 30 points and 14 rebounds the last time the two teams met, had 20 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. The Blue Demons entered the game with the best offense in the country at 90.2 points per game, but were limited to their lowest performance of the season. UConn finished with more points in the paint (62) than DePaul had points overall (60).

After three clock malfunctions to open the game, the teams traded points in the first five minutes. UConn started with a 4-0 push, DePaul answered with five straight points and the Huskies came back with a 6-0 run to take a 12-5 lead, prompting the Blues head coach Demons Doug Bruno to take a time out.

DePaul fought back to tie the game at 14, but UConn used another run — this time 11-0 — to pull away for good. The Huskies killed the Blue Demons downstairs, seemingly scoring at will on the back-cuts. 22 of UConn’s 25 points in the first quarter fell in the paint.

The Huskies pushed their lead into double digits, but DePaul responded with a pair of 5-0 runs to stay within reach. However, UConn used their defense to build a cushion. The Blue Demons went more than five minutes without scoring and turned the ball over five times during that span while the Huskies scored 10 points in a row. The hosts entered half-time with a 42-29 lead.

The gap could have been even wider if UConn hadn’t struggled for layups, going just 15 of 25 in the first two quarters.

It didn’t matter. The Huskies started the second half scoring eight of the first 10 points and took full control of the game. After a streak where Juhász scored in the paint and blocked a shot on the other end that led to one and one the other way for Edwards, DePaul checked.

The visitor’s energy and restlessness visibly plummeted and UConn exerted its will on both sides of the court. The Blue Demons never even hinted at a comeback attempt as the Huskies finished strong with a 24-point win.

Next, UConn travels to Milwaukee to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles on Sunday. Tipping is set at 2:30 p.m. EST on FOX.

About Jimmie P. Ricks

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