They came oh so close against ECU and Oklahoma, coming within a bucket of 100-point games in those blowout victories, but UConn finally hit the triple-digit threshold Wednesday night in Cincinnati.
The Huskies (24-3) beat the Bearcats 105-58 with three players scoring at least 20 points. Head coach Geno Auriemma voiced his concerns with UConn’s offense last week.
“I don’t think our offense was in peak form. We still have a long way to go there. We still have to move the ball better,” Auriemma said after last Wednesday’s win over Tulane. “The ball has to change hands, and the ball has to go in the basket. It’s not the easiest thing in the world. We keep working on it and trying to get better at it.”
— UConn Women's Hoops (@UConnWBB) February 27, 2020
An offensive explosion like this, granted it was against an American Athletic Conference opponent, has to build this team’s confidence. No player needed a big game like this more than the game’s highest scorer, Christyn Williams.
Williams scored 26 points on 14 shots, hitting four threes and going 6-for-6 from the free throw line. She also had eight rebounds and three assists.
February had not been a kind month for Williams. She followed up a 5-point game in the Feb. 3 loss to Oregon with a solid 20-point game against Memphis on the Feb. 7. Since then, she had failed to score double-digits. In UConn’s most recent game, she scored just three points against UCF.
A great performance like this from Williams, where she knocked down everything she looked at and rebounded well, snaps the cold streak and puts Williams back on the right track with tournament season right around the corner.
Megan Walker scored the next-most for the Huskies with 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. She shot 10-of-15, also knocking down four 3-pointers in her 24 minutes of play. This now makes it back-to-back 20-point games for the junior, with Walker shooting 4-for-6 from deep in both.
The third 20-point game of the night came from Anna Makurat, who had 20 on the nose. Like Williams and Walker, she also hit four shots from beyond the arc. She also dished out six assists.
This marked Makurat’s third-straight game with at least 17 points. The freshman has displayed flashes of shooting and passing prowess all season, but her skills have really been honed in over the last week or so. A spark plug offensive threat like Makurat can provide instant-offense when the Huskies really need it in the tournament.
Crystal Dangerfield played a great all-around game, scoring 14 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing six assists, making her the fourth player with seven or more rebounds and the second with six assists in this game. She also shot 2-for-3 from deep, and UConn as a team shot 16-for-23 from beyond the arc, which is an absolutely absurd 69.6% mark.
Kyla Irwin hit both of the 3s she attempted on her way to an eight point, four rebound and five assist game. Aubrey Griffin also had eight points, pulling down seven rebounds, nabbing two steals and blocking one shot.
Auriemma said that Olivia Nelson-Ododa was feeling sick before the game, but insisted on playing. Luckily the Huskies didn’t need much from her, playing her just 12 minutes. In those 12 minutes, she was able to make her mark defensively, blocking three shots.
All the way up and down the roster, it was a great night to be a Husky. With two games remaining before the AAC tournament, UConn will try to let the good times roll into March.
Next for the Huskies is a trip to Texas for a Saturday afternoon game against Houston. The Cougars are 12-16 this season and lost by 40 when they played the Huskies in Connecticut back in January. Saturday’s game will tip off at 3 p.m.