Women’s Basketball: No. 5 Huskies outclass DePaul in home blowout behind 59 rebounds

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The UConn Women’s basketball team take on DePaul University at Gampel Pavilion on Monday, Jan. 9. UConn left the game with a 94-51 victory over DePaul with Aaliyah Edwards scoring 23 of the total points for the team. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus

When you give up 19 unanswered points and don’t score for well over seven minutes, games are hard to win. The DePaul Blue Demons found this out the hard way Monday evening, when they traveled to Storrs, CT to faceoff against the No. 5 Connecticut Huskies. UConn left DePaul in shambles as they exited Gampel Pavilion, winning 94-51 in a game that was never close.

“It certainly is a different team than we had envisioned back in June. We had all these grandiose ideas of what we could do with all of our lineups,” UConn head coach Geno Auriemma explained. “All of a sudden, you’re left with very few choices and people that have to respond every single game with no safety net. Lou [Lopez-Senechal] and Aaliyah [Edwards] haven’t had a bad game since game one. That’s a sign of leadership and they embrace it.”

Edwards continued her magical run this year, collecting 23 points, 10 boards and four assists, adding to her All-American campaign. She put forth such an effort against Aneesah Morrow, one of the best bigs in the league, who averages 25 and 12. Edwards has grown a lot this year, and she’s just getting started showing the country just how good she is against better competition.

“There isn’t anything that she hasn’t done since the season started,” Auriemma noted of Edwards. “Today was another example of it. Whether it was jumpers, drives to the basket, putbacks, defense, there isn’t an aspect of the game where she isn’t playing at an All-American level. If it needed any proving tonight should have taken care of that.”

Lou Lopez-Senechal continued her scoring clinic, scoring 20 and shooting 4/8 from deep. She’s currently floating around 50% from that range on the year, a testament to her incredible efficiency. She’s been the scoring punch, two-slot the Huskies need, scoring in double figures every time out.

The other dominant big was Dorka Juhasz, who put together yet another nice statline with 19 points, nine rebounds and three assists. She’s still averaging a double-double on the year and has been one of Connecticut’s most consistent assets, putting together complete games on a nightly basis. Her success has been critical towards UConn’s wins–and stopping Morrow on Monday.

The UConn Women’s basketball team take on DePaul University at Gampel Pavilion on Monday, Jan. 9. UConn left the game with a 94-51 victory over DePaul with Aaliyah Edwards scoring 23 of the total points for the team. Photo by Erin Knapp/The Daily Campus

“They’ve got a really good connection and chemistry,” Auriemma said of Edwards and Juhasz’s connection. “They’re both really good at finding each other. When those threes are falling for Dorka, it could be a 25 or 30 point night. She’s getting more trustworthy every night. There’s been a lot of maturity on their part. They stay grounded.”

Aubrey Griffin has been quietly great all year, averaging 13 and seven. She’s been a phenomenal contributor to the Huskies on both ends of the floor and this was showcased against the Blue Demons with 18 points, 11 boards and four steals.

Less than 10 seconds into the contest, Nika Muhl already swatted a shot, which was followed by Lopez-Senechal and Morrow trading triples. The Huskies ripped off seven unanswered points, giving them the lead that they’d never relinquish. The Blue Demons cut things to two off a bad husky turnover, but a Lopez-Senechal three and an Edwards and-one restored the cushion.

The Huskies had trouble getting the lead too much further in the early moments of the second quarter, but an exemplary effort from Edwards kept DePaul from gaining ground. Connecticut finished the half on a three minute, 8-0 run, taking a 17 point advantage into the locker room.

UConn started the half a bit sloppy with a giveaway and a Blue Demon bucket but was able to quickly remedy it with a commanding 19-0 run that extended the lead to 35. DePaul finally scored with two minutes left to end the eight minute drought, but there was no question in the outcome by this point.

In an encouraging moment for the Huskies, Ayanna Patterson checked in for the first time in nearly three weeks after an injury against Xavier. She looked good and scored six points, hopefully a nice building block for the rest of the year. The rest of the game was uneventful as Connecticut rode out the blowout, winning by 43.

They have another short turnaround until they head to Knoxville, TN to play Tennessee, a team just outside the top 25.

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