There are three more games left in the regular season for the Huskies, and before they get their final home game of the season, they have to play their last two American Athletic Conference away games ever.
Up first is Cincinnati, who record-wise (18-8, 9-4 the American), is the team to beat in the conference — aside from UConn of course. However, it didn’t look like that when the two teams met on Jan. 30, when the Huskies beat the Bearcats 80-50.
A 30 point victory is already a blowout, but if you look at the second quarter where Cincinnati outscored UConn 22-9 as an outlier, UConn’s dominance is emphasized even more. In the other three quarters, UConn outscored Cincy 71-28, as it wasn’t even really a competition.
The Huskies got 20-plus point, 50-plus percent performances from both Megan Walker and Crystal Dangerfield and got a very solid 12-point, nine-rebound game from Olivia Nelson-Ododa. However, Christyn Williams and Anna Makurat struggled, going 4-for-16 and 0-for-5 from the field, respectively.
After Cincinnati, Antionette Miller led the Bearcats with 19 points but did so on just 7-for-22 shooting, dropping off after going 6-for-10 from the field in the first half. Ilmar’l Thomas, the team’s leading scorer who is averaging 19.2 points per game on nearly 60% shooting, was held to just 12 points going 4-for-11 from the field.
Perhaps the biggest let-down game for the Bearcats was from senior guard Sam Rodgers, who despite playing all 40 minutes of the game scored just three points on 1-for-6 shooting, had three assists, three rebounds, three turnovers and four fouls.
Cincinnati runs a very heavy starter rotation, similar to UConn, with four players averaging over 30 minutes per game. The Huskies, who have had just six players play in every game this season when fully healthy, still just have three players who are averaging over 30 minutes per game.
The last time these two teams played, eight players saw game action for the Bearcats, and just six of them were on the court for over five minutes.
All-time, the Huskies are 21-0 versus the Bearcats, dating back to their first matchup in January of 2006, Cincinnati’s first year in the Big East Conference. They didn’t play each other in the 2006-’07 season but have played at least once every year since, sometimes up to three times per year.
— UConn Women's Hoops (@UConnWBB) February 23, 2020
In the short term outlook, these last three games really don’t mean much, seeing as the Huskies have already clinched the regular-season conference championship. However, in the big picture, UConn has a chance to go undefeated all-time in the American Athletic Conference because of their move to the Big East next season. With just a handful of games remaining between the regular season and the conference tournament, a loss would not only cause them to fall just short of that historic accomplishment, but could also impact their NCAA tournament seeding as well.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be watched on SNY or ESPN3.