Storrs, Conn—The Marquette women’s basketball team (9-5, 2-3 Big East) came up a little short against No. 8 UConn (11-2, 4-0 in the Big East) Saturday afternoon, falling 61-48 inside of Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut.
Lou Lopez Senechal scored 22 points, Caroline Ducharme chipped in 19 points and seven rebounds for the Huskies.
The Huskies played with seven players once again as leading scorer Azzi Fudd and fellow starter Aubrey Griffin missed the game. Lopez Senechal played the entire game for the shorthanded UConn squad.
Fudd missed another contest due to a knee injury and Griffin, who has started nine games, was sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19.
“It is always tough when we are in this situation,” Lopez Senechal said. “I think at the end of the day, it is just getting mentally tough, especially towards the end of the game when everybody is getting more tired.
With the loss, Marquette falls to 0-16 all-time against the Huskies.
After starting slow on the offensive start and trailing 9-0 early on in the first quarter, the Golden Eagles got back-to-back threes by guard Emily La Chapell, who made her second career start. Marquette eventually trimmed UConn lead to four points, before going into the locker room trailing 28-22 at the break.
“I was really happy with our fight today,” said Marquette head coach Megan Duffy. “I thought after we got off to a rough start with a 9-0 run right off the bat we came back and settled in. At one point in the fourth quarter we cut it to six. I just really felt our effort was much better than a couple of games in the past and now we need to figure out how to bounce back.”
Aaliyah Edwards had nine points and eight rebounds and Dorka Juhasz added nine points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies.
Connecticut extended its lead with a 16-13 third quarter to go up 44-35. The Golden Eagles then trimmed the lead to six points in the the fourth, but that’s as close as they would get as the Huskies closed out the game shooting 61.5 percent (8-of-13) in the final quarter to seal the win.
Senior guard Jordan King, who leads the team’s scoring efforts this season, was limited to just eight minutes in the first half with early foul trouble.
The Huskies didn’t make its first substitute until freshman Ayanna Patterson replaced Juhasz with 7:07 remaining in the first half.
“It is not healthy for anybody,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “The biggest thing is not being able to bring any point production off the bench which always something I’ve tried to have to make sure we have somebody who is a scorer that we can put into the game and give us a quick jolt. In a game like today when we really needed offense, it is tougher than usual.”
Marquette was led in scoring by Liza Karlen who finished with 15 points along with a team-best six boards. This was her 11th double-figure scoring performance of the season, and the 30th of her career.
With her 131st career contest, Chloe Marotta moved into third in all-time games played at Marquette. She now is tied with Marissa Thrower (2005-09), Svetlana Kovalenko (2004-08) and Amani Wilborn (2015-19).
Marquette finished the game shooting 34.5 percent (20-of-58) from the floor, 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from 3-point range and 75.0 percent (3-of-4) from the free throw line.
Fudd, who has missed the last six games, took part in drills before the game and could be close to coming back. Fudd hasn’t played since a Dec. 4 loss at Notre Dame. She was averaging 20.6 points per game and is still second on the team with (20) 3-pointers.
UConn: Visits Butler on Tuesday night.
Marquette: Visits DePaul on Wednesday night.