Women's Basketball: Huskies prep for Elite Eight

Moriah Jefferson (#4) smiles during UConn's 98-38 victory over Mississippi State in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament at the Webster Bank Arena on Saturday March 25, 2016. (Bailey Wright/The Daily Campus)

The No. 1 Huskies are on the verge of making the Final Four for a ninth straight season.

Standing in their way is a matchup with No. 2 seed Texas in Monday’s Bridgeport Region Finals.

With a Final Four birth on the line, this game will represent one of the checkpoints on the way to UConn’s ultimate goal of winning a fourth straight National Championship.

“Obviously, we're one game away from the Final Four, and I think any time you get to this point in the season, it's exactly where every player wants to be from the time school starts in September to today,” coach Geno Auriemma said. “Everything you work for is to put yourself in this situation and to be able to play for a National Championship. And in order to do that you got to win this game tomorrow night.”

The Huskies are coming off another dominant performance in a 98-38 win over Mississippi State. In a tournament that saw two number one seeds fall in the Sweet 16 round, UConn certainly sent a message with their victory.

Although the Huskies dominated from the start, they do not feel that they played a perfect game. However, when they are clicking that well on both the offensive and defensive ends they will be tough to beat.

“I don't know if you can ever have a perfect game, because there's always things that we could do better,” senior forward Morgan Tuck said. “But I think that, especially the first quarter yesterday, that was really good. I think we all know that we played really well and if we can try to do that and do even better, it's going to be really hard for the teams we play against.”

The Huskies have the highest scoring margin in the NCAA: they have outscored opponents by over 40 points per game this season.

UConn will be facing a Texas team that has been solid on the defensive end this year. Texas is holding opponents to 55.3 points per game, the 25th best in the nation. Teams are also shooting 35 percent from the field against Texas.

Something will have to give in this matchup, as UConn is the best offensive team in the country. The Huskies are averaging an NCAA best 88.2 points per game while shooting 52 percent from the field. UConn has had no problem scoring in the NCAA Tournament; they have scored at least 97 points in each of their three games.

This will be the first meeting between UConn and Texas since the two teams met in last year’s Sweet 16, where UConn defeated Texas 105-54.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.


Spencer Mayfield is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women's basketball. He can be reached via email at spencer.mayfield@uconn.edu.