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    Friday, June 21, 2024

    No. 9 UConn women still unbeaten in Big East ahead of matchup with DePaul

    UConn head coach Geno Auriemma yells during the first half of a game against Minnesota on Nov. 19 in Minneapolis. (Abbie Parr/AP Photo)

    It’s not like the No. 9 UConn women’s basketball team, besieged by injuries, has an unlimited playbook as it plows its way through the Big East Conference.

    “It’s not like we have a box and we pull out a different way to play every game to suit the opponent,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said this week. “This is what we do. This is who we are. And this is how we’re going to play.

    “If there’s teams out there that can play that style better than us, nothing we can do about it.”

    UConn (15-3 overall, 7-3 Big East) meets league opponent DePaul (10-9, 2-4) beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gampel Pavilion (SNY).

    The Huskies, using an uptempo style with a four-guard starting lineup, have an 11-game winning streak to their credit, including Wednesday’s 83-59 victory over Seton Hall, in which leading scorer Paige Bueckers unleashed a season-high 32 points.

    It’s UConn’s first game at Gampel Pavilion since Dec. 6 and the first of three consecutive sold-out home games for the Huskies at Gampel.

    Auriemma has gone on the record in saying he doesn’t believe any team in the league will go unbeaten this season, but the Huskies, who lead the nation with a field goal percentage of .518, are blitzing Big East teams by an average of 34.3 points per game.

    What is the coach’s explanation for that phenomenon?

    “I think I’d be better at answering that question at the end of February,” Auriemma said. “Going into the Big East tournanament, if we’re still undefeated, I’ll have a really insightful, witty answer for you.

    “Right now, all I can say is we’re playing really, really, really well. We’ve played exceptionally on the road. ... Let’s see how it plays out. Right now, through a small sample, I like where we are, I like the way we’re playing, I like what we’re doing on the court.”

    UConn is led by Bueckers with 19.8 points per game and Aaliyah Edwards with 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. DePaul is led by 5-foot-11 guard Anaya Peoples with 17.6 points and 7.5 rebounds.

    — Vickie Fulkerson

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