The No. 4 UConn women’s basketball team finds themselves in unfamiliar territory, and for once, it is not related to how many players are available. The Huskies have lost two straight games for the first time in 30 years and look to avoid losing three straight for the first time since 1993 as they take on the Georgetown Hoyas in Washington D.C.
When these two teams met at the XL Center last month, the Huskies grabbed the lead for good in the second quarter but could not pull away from Georgetown until the final minutes in a narrow 15-point win. UConn has beaten the Hoyas 33 straight times dating back to 1994 and has lost to them just twice since 1988.
The starting five is led by Aaliyah Edwards, who scored eight points despite grabbing 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s loss three days after picking up 25 against the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks. Despite being limited to single digits in two out of her last four games, Edwards averages 16.8 points and 8.8 rebounds at a 60.6% clip with a team-leading 26 blocks. Expect her to step up Saturday after having an off night against the Marquette Golden Eagles.
For the second time in three games, Dorka Juhász led the team in scoring and dominated the frontcourt, rejecting three shots to bring her season total up to 25. Juhász has nine double-doubles this season and is averaging one per game with 14.4 PPG and 10.2 RPG. Juhász has had the hot hand on both ends of the floor since 2023 began, scoring in double figures all but once while picking up six double-doubles.
Lou Lopez Sénéchal achieved the most positive milestone of Wednesday’s game for the Huskies when she crossed the 2,000-point mark in her career. After scoring 1,598 points for the Fairfield Stags, Lopez Sénéchal has embraced the role as the team’s scoring guard as she has reached double figures all but once this season. At 16.5 PPG, Lopez Sénéchal is averaging more points than she did at Fairfield (16.1) while shooting 47.7% from the field and 47.1% from downtown.
While Lopez Sénéchal crossed a career milestone in scoring, Nika Mühl is closing in on a single-season record. With seven assists on Wednesday, Mühl passed Maya Moore on the single-season list and is tied with Moriah Jefferson for the fifth most assists in a season at 204. At 8.2 assists per game, Mühl could shatter the single-season record held by Sue Bird, who had 231 during her senior season in 2001-02.
Aubrey Griffin has been on a roll offensively while being a quiet contributor on defense. Since UConn’s first meeting against Georgetown, Griffin has scored in double figures and grabbed four or more boards in every game while shooting 50% or better from the field. That culminates to 13.9 PPG and 7.0 RPG at a 58.5% clip in 32.4 minutes, which makes her just as dangerous as everyone else in the rotation.
UConn’s path to ending their losing streak is not smooth, especially with how tired they have played over the past few weeks. Caroline Ducharme missed her twelfth consecutive game due to a concussion in Wednesday’s loss, and no update has been provided regarding when she will return. If she is unavailable to play on Saturday, then the Huskies will have eight available players for the sixth consecutive game.
Even if she does play, she will most likely come off the bench, who will have to provide significant minutes if everything goes south on offense. This is much easier said than done for UConn as the only bench point in their last five games came on an Ayanna Patterson free throw last Wednesday against the Providence Friars.
The Hoyas (12-12, 5-10 Big East) have won four out of their last seven games including home wins against the DePaul Demons and Seton Hall Pirates, both of which came during a three-game winning streak. Even though they have lost their last two games by an average margin of 23 points, Georgetown, who is currently in eighth place in the Big East, is an opponent that should not be taken lightly.
Kelsey Ransom has been dominant on offense since being limited to three points against the Huskies in their first meeting, scoring 20 or more points on four different occasions including a season-25 against the Friars. At 13.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 78 total assists and 67 steals, the junior guard leads the Hoyas in most statistical categories. Especially since this matchup is taking place away from the Nutmeg State, the Huskies will need to contain Ransom once again if they are to have any shot of avoiding their second upset this week.
Kennedy Fauntleroy has not played hot over her last four games, being limited to 11 points over three games before dropping that many against the No. 15 Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday. Despite her recent offensive struggles, she is the only other Georgetown player to average double figures with 11.4 PPG while she is second on the team in assists (69) and steals (57).
While Kristina Moore (8.2 PPG) and Graceann Bennett (7.4 PPG at a 52% clip) have played significant roles as starters, the biggest X-factor for the Hoyas is sophomore forward Brianna Scott. Although she averages 5.8 points and 4.3 boards while starting just one game this year, Scott is a defensive force and a valuable bench weapon as she leads the team with 20 blocks.
Georgetown averages 61.1 points per game as a team, but with UConn coming off a game where they scored a season-low 52 points, this should be a low-scoring affair. Defense, especially around the glass as both teams average over 37 boards a game, will make the difference between winning and losing while both teams play a physical game.
Tipoff is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, at 5 p.m. on SNY.