GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

Connecticut 60, South Florida 53

By AARON BEARD
AP Basketball Writer

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas - Paige Bueckers had 21 points and seven assists to help No. 2 Connecticut hold off No. 23 South Florida 60-53 in the semifinals of the inaugural women's Battle 4 Atlantis.

Freshman Azzi Fudd added a season-high 18 points on six 3-pointers for the Huskies (3-0), who had to fight to the final minutes to maintain a perfect mark against the Bulls (3-2). UConn squandered a 13-point second-quarter lead and an eight-point margin midway through the third, then found itself trailing in the final seconds of that quarter after giving up an 11-0 run.

But Bueckers hit a contested turnaround 3-pointer from in front of the UConn bench to tie it at 45 at the end of the third. The Huskies got the ball to start the fourth, and Fudd followed with a straightaway 3 - essentially a six-point possession that took momentum back from the surging Bulls.

That was the start of a 14-2 burst, which included Bueckers scoring on a cut off a perfect feed from Olivia Nelson-Ododa in the post and Fudd adding another 3 to push the lead to 56-47 with 4:28 left.

Elena Tsineke scored 17 points to lead South Florida, which shot 37% but just 4 of 13 (31%) in the final quarter when the game hung in the balance. Bethy Mununga added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Connecticut improved to 33-0 all-time against South Florida going back to their time together in the Big East and American Athletic conferences, though this was the first of those meetings decided by fewer than 10 points.


UConn
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
O. Nelson-Ododa F 36 2-3 1-2 0-0 0-5 7 1 1 2 2 5
A. Edwards F 16 0-3 0-0 0-0 0-3 0 0 0 0 2 0
P. Bueckers G 38 8-16 2-2 3-10 0-3 7 1 1 3 0 21
C. Williams G 34 3-8 2-2 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 5 4 10
E. Westbrook G 30 2-6 0-0 0-3 1-4 3 0 1 1 0 4
A. Fudd 27 6-10 0-0 6-9 0-2 1 1 0 2 0 18
D. Juhasz 12 1-1 0-0 0-0 1-6 1 0 0 1 0 2
C. Ducharme 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 1 0 1 0
N. Muhl 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   198 22-47
(.468)
5-6
(.833)
11-27
(.407)
6-29 19 3 4 15 9 60


South Florida
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
B. Mununga F 33 7-12 0-0 1-2 3-8 2 0 2 3 2 15
S. Leverett F 32 2-3 0-0 0-0 3-8 1 0 1 0 1 4
E. Pinzan G 38 3-8 0-0 2-4 0-3 6 0 1 1 3 8
E. Tsineke G 36 7-20 1-2 2-4 4-7 4 0 2 1 4 17
S. Harvey G 34 2-10 0-0 2-7 0-0 3 0 2 3 1 6
M. Alvarez 10 0-3 1-2 0-3 0-2 1 0 0 0 0 1
D. Fankam Mendjiadeu 8 1-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 2
C. Bermejo 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Wilson 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Guerreiro 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals   200 22-59
(.373)
2-4
(.500)
7-20
(.350)
15-34 17 0 8 11 13 53


Officials: Karen Preato, Jeff Smith, Ashley Gloss




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