Women’s Basketball Preview: UConn faces Syracuse on verge of Sweet 16

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UConn guard Nika Muhl, right, leaves the arena floor on crutches after an injury during the first half of a college basketball game against High Point in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament. Muhl is currently listed as day-to-day. Photos courtesy of Eric Gay / AP Photo.

This Tuesday, March 23, the No. 1 seed UConn Huskies will face off against the No. 8 Syracuse Orange with a chance to punch their ticket to NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16.  

The Huskies have to like their matchup versus Syracuse, who they hold a 39-12 lifetime record against. They have won 25 straight games against the Orange. UConn is coming off a dominant 102-59 victory over High Point, while Syracuse defeated South Dakota State  72-55.  

UConn will be looking for freshman superstar Paige Bueckers, who had 24 points and 6 assists on Sunday, to set the tone offensively. That being said, they’re a deep team and Olivia Nelson-Ododa (22 points), Aaliyah Edwards (17), Christyn Williams (13) and Evina Westbrook (10) all scored in the double-digits in their win against High Point. 

Syracuse also had five players scoring over 10 points against South Dakota State, but its bench scored a combined four points. Leading the way for the Orange was guard Emily Engstler, who collected 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Engstler made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, so UConn will need to slow her down to have defensive success on Tuesday. 

Unfortunately for UConn,  freshman guard Nika Muhl left Sunday night’s game with an ankle injury and did not return; Muhl is currently listed as day-to-day. However, acting head coach Chrisy Daily said, “If there’s any way Nika can be on the court, she’ll be on the court. There’s no question in my mind.”  

The game will begin at 9 p.m. ET. 

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