So far this season, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team at the University of Connecticut has had a pretty easy ride. They’ve played just one game that matters, along with one scrimmage. The team claimed victory in their first game vs. Arkansas on the back of star player Paige Bueckers, who dropped 34 points.
Now, the team heads down to the sunny Bahamas, where the weather forecast for the weekend is rainy and over 80 degrees. It’s a far cry from Storrs, where the temperature has been dropping as fast as the leaves.
The team is going to the Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, the first big test for the teams attending. The Battle 4 Atlantis consists of eight teams fighting in a three-round single elimination bracket. The teams in attendance include other ranked opponents like Oregon, South Carolina and South Florida.
South Carolina in particular promises to be a difficult foe. The team is ranked first overall, the only lineup ahead of the Huskies in the NCAA’s preseason poll. That matchup, should it happen, will be particularly interesting because the results will likely have a prominent impact on future NCAA polls this season. Whichever team wins is generally going to be seen as the number one team in the country for at least the next little while.
But first, the Huskies will need to get through their first round opponent, Minnesota. The Gophers currently sit at 3-1 after wins over Arizona State, George Washington and American. Their only loss was in their first non-exhibition game, a 66-69 defeat by Jacksonville in overtime.
The team is bolstered by Sara Scalia, who has played just under 110 minutes in three games, or over 90% of every game. She averages 17.3 points per game with seven assists, with her best game being a 25 point performance in the eventual loss to Jacksonville. She’s supported by teammate Jasmine Powell, who has over ten points in three of four games this season, along with 21 assists and 19 rebounds. They’re a strong duo, and the Huskies need to be careful not to declare this a win before the clock even starts to tick.
On the Huskies side of the court is Paige Bueckers. Anyone who watches any collegiate basketball has likely heard of Bueckers, who won the pre-season poll predicting her to be the Big East Player of the Year by the end of the season. Bueckers came out strong last week, scoring 34 points in the first real game of the season, helping UConn beat Arkansas 95-80. It was revenge for Bueckers and her teammates, as Arkansas defeated UConn 87-90 when they played last spring, 87-90.
Now, the Huskies look ahead towards their second game of the season. They’ll face off against Minnesota on Saturday, Nov. 20 at noon. If they advance from the first round, they’ll move onto the second round on Sunday, and then possibly the third on Monday. The first two can be watched on FloHoops, and information will be available on the women’s basketball schedule page if they advance past that point.