Elmont, NY—The UConn women’s basketball team had their share of trials and tribulations this season but they seem to overcome every obstacles that confronts them. Staying focused and grounded is the key to their young season.
# 4 UConn (14-2, 7-0) beat St. John’s (14-2, 5-2) 82-52 inside UBS Area Wednesday evening in front of crowd of 2,010. There were basically in cruise control after the first half.
UConn is now 47-17 all-time against St. John’s. Head coach Geno Auriemma is 47-8 versus the Red Storm.
The Huskies won both regular season contests between the teams last season, a 75-57 victory at St. John’s in Queens and a 93-38 win at the XL Center in Hartford.
Lou Lopez Senechal was the leading scorer for the Huskies poured in 20 points. Dorka Juhasz scored 18 while Aaliyah Edwards chipped 15 points along with 7 boards.
UConn jumped on the St. John’s early with a 6-0 run and set the tone of the game for the first five minutes. St. John’s guard Jayla Everett got two quick buckets and settled the ladies Johnnies down. Even though the Johnnies had a difficult time figuring out the Huskies zone defense, they shot 57% (4-7) from the court and was only down by six (17-11) at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Huskies went to operation spread the ball and give it to Aaliyah Edwards who started to establish herself on the blocks. Edwards scored four quick points which opened the court for Nika Muhl, Azzi Fudd, and Juhasz. The Red Storm paid dearly by leaving UConn players open on the perimeter and everyone joined the scoring party.
Fudd, played her first game since injuring her right knee against Notre Dame on Dec. 4, finished with 14 points in 20 minutes of play. The sophomore guard had been averaging 20.6 points but had missed the Huskies’ last eight games.
St. John’s shot a dismal 25% (2-8) on the floor and they couldn’t do anything with Yuhasz and Edwards down low, the Huskies scored 22 points in the paint and took a 41-21 lead into the break. Edwards led the way with 11 points.
In the third quarter, the Huskies just stuck to the script that was working, timing passing, hit the open player and hit a three. At the 5:33 mark, UConn extended its lead to 49-24 and forced the Johnnies to take a time-out to regroup.
The Huskies scored 24 points from turnovers and they forced the Johnnies to turn the ball over 13 times in the game.
Kadaja Bailey got things going in the third quarter with a couple jump shots. St. John’s shot a little better in the quarter but not enough to put a dent in the lead. The Huskies closed out the third with a 59-38 going into the final frame of the contest.
The Johnnies fought until end but just couldn’t put a dent in the lead, at the 1:47 mark the score was 79-50 and UConn was coasting from there.
It was the first women’s basketball game played at UBS Arena, home to the NHL’s New York Islanders. There was a men’s basketball game between Notre Dame and Saint Bonaventure early November.
Senior guard Kadaja Bailey led all scorers with 17 points with four assists. Jayla Everett chipped in 10 points for the Johnnies.
St. John’s host Villanova on Saturday at 2:00 P.M.
UConn: Hosts Georgetown on Sunday.