Queens, NY—UConn’s head coach Geno Auriemma must of had a little talk with Junior guard Christyn Williams about taking her game to another level.
Whatever he said to her, it worked.
Williams looked refreshed knocking down shots all over the court. She was very active on the defensive side of the ball.
Williams scored 21 points and Paige Bueckers chipped in 20 to help UConn slide past St. John’s (6-12, 3-9) 77-32 on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena and improving to 17-1 (14-0 Big East) in the process.
UConn (17-1, 14-0 Big East) moved to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time this season. It’s the 246th week since the 1994-95 season that the Huskies have held the top spot. They have been No. 1 for at least one week in each of the past nine seasons. The next closest active streak is two years in a row.
Wednesday marked the 60th all-time meeting between St. John’s and UConn, with the Huskies leading the series 43-17.
The Huskies shot 64.7 percent (33-51) from the floor, their best mark since the 2017-18 season. Christyn Williams (21 points), Paige Bueckers (20) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (17) carried the Huskies in the first half, the big three combined for 58 of UConn’s 72 points.
UConn had been getting off to a slow start on offense lately, but ran their half court offense without a hitch on Wednesday, building an 18-6 lead after the first quarter behind Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who had eight points in the opening period.
Their lead skyrocketed in the second quarter. They had 7-0 and 12-0 runs to pull away and pushed the lead up to 31 going into halftime (46-15).
Bueckers had nine assists while Nelson-Ododa snatched seven boards. Evina Westbrook failed to score but was very active on the boards collecting eight rebounds and seven assists, and Nika Muhl dished out five assists herself. Aaliyah Edwards also reached double-figures with 10 points.
“I thought our defense was really good. It was good team-wise and we did a great job individually defensively,” Auriemma said. “I thought as a team, our team defense was outstanding tonight. We were really locked in with what we wanted to do. It was just really, really good. They didn’t get a lot of clean, easy, open looks.”
UConn: At Xavier on Saturday.
St. John’s: Hosts Providence on Sunday.