A dominant 77-32 win over the St. John’s Red Storm (6-12, 3-10 Big East) on Wednesday, Feb. 17 gave UConn (17-1, 14-0 Big East) seven wins in as many games. UConn remains the No. 1 ranked team in college basketball.
Despite being outscored in the first quarter of two of their last three games, the Huskies opened Wednesday’s contest with a defensive intensity that set the tone for the entire game. UConn held St. John’s scoreless for over three full minutes, forcing the Red Storm into a 1/10 start from the field. UConn won the first quarter by a margin of 18-6 and ended the half with a 46-15 lead. The Huskies’ strong effort carried over into the second half where they outscored the Red Storm 31-17 to finish with a 77-32 victory.
Offensively, the Huskies got great performances from three starters in Paige Bueckers (20 points, nine assists), Christyn Williams (21 points) and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (17 points, seven rebounds). According to head coach Geno Auriemma, the strong offense came from even better defense.
Williams in particular is beginning to find her game on both sides of the ball. She spent the majority of the game matched up against St. John’s leading scorer, Leilani Correa (20.9 points-per-game). Correa scored only two points in the contest. “We gave her a tough assignment. We had her guard the other team’s best player and when you do that, it takes up so much of your focus that the offense flows naturally,” Auriemma said. “This was one of Christyn’s best games. Certainly the best game she’s played this year because it was a complete game.”
Williams said that entering the game, her main focus was to shut down Correa, who scored 33 points against UConn earlier in the season. “She scored 33 on us last time. That’s my assignment,” she said. “I didn’t want that to happen again.”
Though Williams herself had a fantastic game, she was of course quick to give the rest of her team credit for turning defense to offense. “I thought we did a great job defensively the entire game … We got a lot of steals and that made it easy for us to get out in transition.”
The Huskies’ next game is on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3:00 p.m. EST versus the Xavier Musketeers.