Women’s Basketball: Huskies return to Sweet 16, will meet Mississippi State


UConn senior forward Breanna Stewart takes a shot during the Huskies’ game against East Carolina in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Bailey Wright/The Daily Campus)

For the No. 1-seed UConn Huskies, a trip to the Sweet 16 has become familiar territory over the past couple decades.

The Huskies will be playing in the Sweet 16 for the 23rd-straight season tomorrow when they take on No. 5 seed Mississippi State in the Bridgeport Regional.

The Huskies will put their 71-game winning streak on the line as their quest for a fourth-straight National Championship continues.

UConn will once again turn to their talented trio of Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck to lead the way. All three players were just recently named finalists for the 2016 Wade Trophy.

Stewart, Tuck and Jefferson are coming off a strong performance in a win over Duquesne where they combined for 61 points. They have certainly elevated their play now that tournament time has come.

Stewart has led the team in scoring and rebounds since the NCAA Tournament has started, averaging 19.5 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game in UConn’s two tournament games.

Jefferson has an opportunity to climb up the UConn record books in the game. Jefferson needs 11 points to tie Asjha Jones for 22nd on UConn’s all-time scoring list. She also has a chance to tie Jennifer Rizzotti in the steals and assists category. Jefferson trails Rizzotti, who ranks second in both categories, by three steals and three assists.

Mississippi State advanced to the Sweet 16 by defeating No. 4 seed Michigan State 74-72. Mississippi State is a team that finished in second place in the SEC this season.

They are led offensively by Victoria Vivians who is averaging 17.4 points per game this season. Vivians is the only player on the team who is averaging double figures in scoring this season.

Mississippi State will need others to step up in order to hang around with a UConn team that leads the nation in scoring, averaging 88 points per game.

Mississippi State has played solid defense this season. They are holding opponents to 54.7 points per game, which is ranked 21st in the nation.

This is the first-ever matchup between UConn and Mississippi State. The Huskies are looking to advance to the Elite Eight for the 11th season in a row.

The game will be played at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and can be seen on ESPN.

Spencer Mayfield is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at spencer.mayfield@uconn.edu. He tweets @SpenceMayfield.

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