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WOMENS BASKETBALL


Connecticut 86, Providence 53

Connecticut 86, Providence 53

PAT EATON-ROBB
ASSOCIATED PRESS

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Paige Bueckers scored 29 points and No. 9 UConn overcame an injury to Aaliyah Edwards to beat Providence 86-53 and advance in the women’s Big East Tournament.

Freshman KK Arnold added 17 points for the top-seeded Huskies (27-5, 18-0), who went undefeated in the Big East during the regular season and advance to a conference semifinal for the 36th straight season. Edwards had 12 points before leaving the game in the second half with a facial injury.

Grace Efosa had 23 points and eight rebounds for Providence, which finished the season at 13-20 and 6-12 in the conference.

UConn led by 10 points at halftime, but Providence scored the first five points of the second half.

It was 41-35 when Edwards took an elbow to the face from Sarah Bandoma four minutes into the third quarter. The senior center, who came into the game averaging 17.9 points and 9.5 rebounds, had to be helped to the locker room.

Bueckers missed both free throws on an ensuing intentional foul, but UConn responded to the injury by outscoring Providence 45-18 the rest of the way.

Bueckers 3-pointer sent the Huskies into the fourth quarter leading 62-45 and a jumper from Ice Brady put the Huskies up 67-47.

Edwards returned to the bench with a splint on her nose and cotton in both nostrils with just over five minutes left in the game and UConn leading 74-51.

BIG PICTURE

Providence: The Friars earned the right to play UConn with a 75-60 win over No. 8-seed Butler. First-year Coach Erin Batth said she’s excited about the culture that she is developing in Rhode Island.

UConn: The win came a day after point guard Nika Muhl announced on social media that this would be her final season with the Huskies. Muhl is a senior, but had one more year of eligibility remaining because the extra year granted to players during the pandemic. Bueckers has announced she will return for another season with the Huskies, as did injured players Azzi Fudd and Aubrey Griffin, all of whom could have declared for the WNBA draft. Edwards, who also has a year of eligibility remaining, has not made an announcement.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Connecticut athletics press release

March 9, 2024





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