The time has come. One more game and then they’re done. One final trip to somewhere way too far for what a conference game should be.
On Saturday the Huskies will play their final away conference game as a member of the American Athletic Conference, and as an almost appropriate sendoff, they get to ship all the way down to Houston.
As it is with the majority of the teams in the conference, UConn is undefeated all-time in their matchups, most recently beating them 91-51 earlier this season.
When the two teams took the court at the XL Center back on Jan. 11, Houston had the — we’ll just say unfortunate — task of trying to beat the UConn team that just suffered their first loss of the season.
Following the Huskies’ loss to Baylor just two days prior to their game versus Houston, guard Christyn Williams sent a de facto warning to the Cougars.
“Houston, they just happen to be the team, so all the frustration and that we have, we’re taking it out on them,” Williams said. “So it sucks for them.”
Take it out on Houston they did, starting the game by outscoring them in the first quarter 25-2. You read that right, they held the Cougars to just two points in the first quarter. It essentially ended the game almost before it began.
Williams herself had a big night, dropping 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including a perfect 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. However, it was Megan Walker who led the team, outscoring her by just one en route to a 22-point, seven-rebound and four-assist night, all team highs.
For the Cougars, their top scorer Dorian Branch put up 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting including 3-of-9 from three. Branch, a 5-foot-10 senior forward, is averaging 10.7 points on the season, which is good for No. 4 on the team.
Junior 5-foot-10 guard Julia Blackshell-Fair leads the team in field goal percentage, shooting 47.5% on the season and only taking 13 threes, missing all of them. She scored 10 points on UConn in their last matchup on a really solid 5-for-9 from the field but did have a team-high five turnovers.
Dymond Gladney, the team’s leading scorer of her teammates who have played in at least 20 games, a 5-foot-3 sophomore guard, leads the team with 11.5 points per game despite shooting just 28.1% from three on over 150 shots. She was shut down by UConn in their last matchup, scoring just five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 from three.
As a team, they chuck up a ton of threes despite not being able to knock them down at a high percentage, going 142-519 from beyond the arc which works out to a mere 27.4%. If they want to stand a chance at beating UConn on Saturday, they’re going to need to shoot well above their averages.
Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. and can be viewed on SNY and ESPN3.