Women’s Basketball Preview: UConn tries to keep undefeated season alive as they travel to Tennessee

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UConn forward Aubrey Griffin (44) and guard Evina Westbrook (22) pressure Butler forward Ellen Ross (25) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Storrs, Conn. Photo by David Butler II/Pool Photo via AP.

This Thursday, Jan. 21, the 8-0 UConn Huskies will hit the road to take on the 9-2 Tennessee Volunteers, presumably their toughest opponent of the season so far.  

Though the No. 25 ranked Volunteers are having an excellent season, the UConn-Tennessee matchup has historically favored the Huskies. Connecticut has a 14-9 all-time record against Tennessee and have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two teams.   

UConn is currently in the midst of a dominant season, averaging 89.0 points, 43.9 rebounds, 22.8 assists, 10.3 steals, 5.6 blocks and only 14.9 turnovers-per-game. That being said, Tennessee is not far behind in any one category, if at all. The Volunteers are currently averaging 75.1 points, 46.3 rebounds, 16.8 assists, 8.5 steals, 4.5 blocks and 16.4 turnovers-per-game. Though UConn has the slight edge in everything other than rebounding, Tennessee should be highly competitive in every facet of the game.  

The key to victory for the Huskies is slowing down Tennessee’s depth scoring. While Tennessee only has two players averaging double-digit scoring compared to UConn’s five, the Volunteers have eight players averaging at least 5.8 points-per-game and UConn has only six. Add in the fact that Tennessee’s leading scorer, junior guard Rae Burrel (16.7 points), is shooting 43.5% from 3-point range this season, and the Huskies should have their hands full defensively. As they have all season, the Huskies will need their starters, all of whom are averaging over 10 points-per-game, to continue their strong play.  

Thursday’s contest will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.  

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