Women’s Basketball: No. 3 Huskies beat Blue Devils in Phil Knight Legacy Semifinals

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11/14/2022 WBB vs. Texas by Sofia Sawchuk, Associate Photo Editor UConn women’s basketball defeats No. 3 Texas 83-76 at Gampel Pavilion on a chilly Monday night in Storrs, Conn, on Nov. 14, 2022. Preceding the matchup was the retirement of UConn women’s basketball legend Swin Cash’s number, No. 32. Cash won two national titles with the Huskies, and was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a part of the 2022 class.

Azzi Fudd did not score 32 points for a third consecutive contest, but a second straight career game from
Lou Lopez Senechal and a double-double from Aaliyah Edwards helped the No. 3 UConn women’s
basketball team beat the Duke Blue Devils 78-50 in the semifinal round of the PK85 tournament.


Unlike their last game against the then No. 10 NC State Wolfpack, the Huskies were pressured by Duke’s
defense all game long, especially early in the contest. Shayeann Day-Wilson got the game started by
draining two threes, but buckets from Aubrey Griffin and Lopez Senechal helped UConn break out to a
5-0 run. The Blue Devils ended that stretch with a layup from Celeste Taylor before Lopez Senechal
instantly responded with a drive to the lane.


Duke tied the game up after two baskets from Elizabeth Balogun, but UConn answered with a 7-0 run
behind buckets from Nika Muhl and Lopez Senechal. The Huskies ended the first frame on a 10-1 run as
Fudd drained her first 3-pointer of the game in the corner.


UConn had everything going right to start the second quarter as Caroline Ducharme got on the
scoresheet, Edwards came up with a mean block and Lopez Senechal drained her second shot from
downtown to get into double digits. Following that sequence, Griffin finished off a backwards pass in the
paint on a fastbreak and Day-Wilson made her third three of the game before both teams struggled to
score.


Fudd ended the cold spell by scoring in the lane and Balogun responded with two shots in the paint.
Lopez Senechal then made another shot from downtown before Ashlon Jackson followed suit and Muhl
went 2-2 from the line. This led to a series of breakaways and turnovers, but Ayanna Taylor beat the
halftime buzzer with a 2-point floater after Ayanna Patterson made a second-chance basket.


The Huskies took over the rest of the game after opening the second half on a 13-3 run. Edwards scored
two field goals from the exact same spot before Lopez Senechal drained another three that led to the
Blue Devils taking the first timeout by either side.
Duke subsequently went on a run as Day-Wilson made a basket and went 1-2 from the line before Lopez

Senechal made a field goal of her own and Edwards crossed into double figures. After a series of steals,
baskets and defensive rebounds following the media timeout, Fudd made a behind-the-back shot that
helped her get into double figures.

The Blue Devils went 2-2 from the free throw line after Patterson picked up her third foul and then
grabbed a field goal from Jordyn Oliver before Griffin finished off a missed three from Ducharme. As the
third quarter ended, Mia Heide secured two field goals to give Duke a chance to rally down 17 points.

But the Blue Devils were limited to seven points on three field goals in the final 10 minutes. Even with
Amari DeBerry and Ines Bettencourt checking into the game up 30, Duke could not muster much of
anything, and UConn advanced to the championship round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, their
second invitational championship game in as many Thanksgiving weekends.

Lopez Senechal secured another career-high with 23 points while Edwards garnered her third double-
double in four games with 17 points and 11 boards. One game removed from breaking the single-game
school record for assists, Muhl racked up 10 while forcing two steals.

Day-Wilson led the Blue Devils with 17 points and seven boards while Balogun picked up 13 off the
bench. No other Duke player scored in double figures, but Heide shined in her 12 minutes of playing
time with four points and five rebounds.

As a team, the Huskies shot 51% from the field while the Blue Devils made 33% of their shots. UConn
dominated the boards, out rebounding Duke 42-26 and outscoring them in the paint 30-12.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Huskies will play the winner of the other semifinal game between the No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes and the
Oregon State Beavers on Sunday, November 27. That game, which tipped off at 8:30 p.m. EST, was in
progress at the time of publication.

The ninth-ranked Hawkeyes entered the semifinal game at 4-1 after an overtime loss to the Kansas State
Wildcats and an 11-point victory against the Belmont Bruins three days later. Iowa initially opened the
season ranked fourth in the country ahead of UConn.

Caitlin Clark showed no signs of concern after suffering an ankle injury at the end of the Hawkeyes’ loss
against Kansas State, dropping 33 points in her last game on Sunday. The Preseason All-American’s
presence on the court significantly impacts the way the team functions.

Preseason All-Big Ten selection Monika Czinano picks up most of the points that Clark does not get as
she is the only other player averaging double digits with 19.2 points per game. She is also tied for first in
rebounds per game at seven with McKenna Warnock, who also collects 9.8 points a game. Iowa will
need more than those three to score points if they want to take down the Huskies.
The Beavers entered the Phil Knight Legacy with an undefeated record, recently beating Prairie View
A&M 100-59 this past Saturday. Despite being 4-0, Oregon State did not receive a single AP vote in this
week’s ballot.

Preseason PAC-12 All-Conference selection Talia von Oelhoffen leads the team with 19.5 PPG, improving
tremendously from a 13.7 PPG freshman campaign, 15 assists and eight steals. Joining her to form a
dynamic guard duo is AJ Marotte, who is averaging 15 points and 7.3 rebounds a contest. Both are not
known to be 3-point threats, but they are productive in the shots they take.

Taylor Jones controlled the frontcourt despite playing nine games, but she transferred to Texas this past
offseason. Both Raegan Beers and Jelena Mitrovic have stepped up in her place. Beers averages 17 points and 8.8 rebounds off the bench while Mitrovic has a more balanced attack as she averages more boards (8.8) than points (8.5). Beers and Mitrovic are at the top of the team list in blocks, which adds to their reputation as glass protectors and players scoring in the paint. If these two teams meet, expect another physical contest that UConn must endure without Dorka Juhasz, who remains out with a broken thumb.


Tipoff between the Huskies and either the Hawkeyes or the Beavers to determine the champion in the
Phil Knight Legacy is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) at the Moda Center on ABC.

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