UConn will play their first Top 25 opponent of the season Monday on the road versus No. 16 DePaul.
DePaul (9-1) has beaten then-No. 16 Miami and lost by 21 to then-No. 7 Oregon State this season. They also beat Notre Dame by 11.
No. 2 UConn (8-0) played their most recent game against Notre Dame at Gampel Pavilion and handily won by 24. Megan Walker continued her All-American-caliber play with a 26 point, 13 rebound game, bringing her per-game averages in those categories up to 22.1 and 8.9, respectively. She is also shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 48.8 percent from beyond the arc this season.
“I don’t know anybody that’s playing better than her [Walker] in the country,” head coach Geno Auriemma said.
DePaul’s two best scorers are senior Chante Stonewall and sophomore Sonya Morris.
Stonewall, aside from having the best name on the team, also has the best scoring average. She scores 17.1 points per game while shooting 48.7 percent from the floor. She is also second on the team in rebounding with 5.7 per game.
Morris, a 5-foot-10-inch guard, is second on the team in scoring (16.6 points per game) and playmaking (3.4 assists per game), while also third in rebounding (3.6 per game).
Aside from Stonewall and Morris, DePaul gets over nine points per game from three other players, making it hard for defenses to key-in on one or two players. As a result, DePaul has the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation with 90.4 points per game. UConn is No. 29 with 77.9 points per game.
DePaul’s defense, however, is among the worst in the nation. Surrendering 74.9 points per game, there are only 27 schools in the country that allow more (No. 321). UConn ranks No. 36 in this category with 55.5 points allowed per game.
A reason for DePaul’s inflated offensive and deflated defensive statistics is their fast pace of play. As a small team (no players over 6-foot-2-inches), they try to run opponents out of the gym.
Olivia Nelson-Ododa could be a matchup nightmare for DePaul. It doesn’t seem like many players on the team can measure up to the 6-foot-5-inch forward, so if she can stay out of foul trouble (three or more fouls in six games this season), ONO could be the key to victory for UConn.
The Huskies and DePaul will tip off Monday at 8 p.m. from Chicago, Ill.