The No. 10 UConn women’s basketball team (13-4, 8-0) will begin a tough week tonight in Omaha, Nebraska, where it is set to take on the Creighton Bluejays (15-5, 10-2), the second place team in the Big East.
The Bluejays, coached by Jim Flanery, are having a phenomenal season, as they currently sit at No. 32 in the nation in the NET Rankings and are projected to be a Np. 10 seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology, to go along with a vote in the latest AP Poll. This campaign includes a win against Arkansas in Fayetteville, a team currently receiving AP votes. Creighton’s schedule also features a close loss to Nebraska, which is also receiving votes and has been ranked this year.
The Huskies and Bluejays have already played once in an early January matinee that came down to the wire in Storrs. The low-scoring, 63-55 UConn win saw a stellar performance by freshman guard Caroline Ducharme, who added 17 points.
Morgan Maly impressed for the Bluejays in that game, with 14 points and five boards in just 23 minutes. On the season, Maly is averaging a solid 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 dimes, along with 35% three-point shooting. A consistent contributor for Creighton all year, Maly has scored at least seven points in all but one game and has hit double figures in 14 out of 20. If the Bluejays want to knock out the Huskies this time around, Maly will need to be on point.
Another player to watch for will be Creighton’s Emma Ronsiek. The 6-foot-1 sophomore forward is having an excellent season, scoring 14.8 points per game, grabbing 4.6 boards and collecting 2.1 assists. This comes on an incredibly efficient 54.4% from the field, which is 31st in the NCAA. Ronsiek did well, but not well enough last month against UConn, scoring ten points and collecting four boards. She performed considerably better in a mid-January weekend series against Seton Hall and St. Johns, accumulating 57 points in those two games alone. Ronsiek is capable of torching teams on any given night, so the Huskies will have to be careful defending her as she looks for revenge.
For the Huskies, a player to keep an eye on will be freshman Azzi Fudd. The Huskies hit just five threes against Creighton last time, in a game where Fudd was absent due to a foot injury. This time, Fudd should be able to add a scoring punch with her electric shooting. After the Providence game, coach Geno Auriemma lamented the freshman’s lack of aggressiveness and will likely be pushing her to take more shots this time. In her two games since returning from injury, Fudd scored 15 points in a win at DePaul on 6-for-10 shooting in 23 minutes. The Providence game turned out to be just the opposite, as Fudd got six more minutes, but delivered 10 fewer points. This will mark her seventh game of the year.
A second player who will be important to the Huskies effort will be senior guard Christyn Williams. After a weak stretch of the season where Williams averaged just 12.5 points across seven games, she is back and better than ever, averaging 18.5 in the four games since.
“I think [Williams] has been one of the bright spots,” Auriemma said after the Providence game. “She really had it going before COVID, and then she had to take the break… She’s at her best when she’s being aggressive and not settling. I think she’s in a really good place right now.”
Another thing to watch for will be whether or not Dorka Juhasz plays. Juhasz was out with a stress reaction for the Providence game and is listed as day-to-day.
The contest will air at 7:30 p.m. EST on SNY.
Using sny as your main game venue leaves all of the non cable customers from being fans. Sny first play on major providers here in down east Maine
Like to follow them I am a 1965 grad
Terrible how they’ve taken games away. 73 alum