HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)Another UConn game, another injury.
Aaliyah Edwards scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 4 Connecticut opened up a close game in the second half to beat Georgetown 65-50 on Sunday.
But the Huskies, who were forced to postpone a game a week ago because of a lack of healthy players, saw leading scorer Azzi Fudd go down in the first half when she appeared to reinjure her right knee. Fudd was playing in just her second game back after missing the previous eight after hurting that knee in December.
Coach Geno Auriemma said the team won’t know the severity of the injury until a doctor looks at it but that it ”didn’t sound serious.” Still, the injury leaves UConn with just seven healthy players, the minimum needed to put a team on the court.
”If Azzi’s out any period of time, like if she doesn’t play Tuesday, then we’re right back to square one, right?” Auriemma said.
The Huskies led by one point at the half, but opened the third quarter on an 20-3 run to take control of the game. They led 44-31 after three quarters and used a 12-0 fourth-quarter run to go up 65-41 and put the game away.
Dorka Juhasz had 13 points for the Huskies (15-2, 8-0 Big East), and Nika Muhl and Lou Lopez Senechal each added 12.
Brianna Scott led Georgetown (8-9, 1-7) with 11 points. The Hoyas were up 13-11 after a quarter, forcing seven turnovers and keeping UConn without a basket for over six minutes. They stayed with UConn in the second as well, holding the Huskies to just 32% shooting and trailed just 24-23 at the half.
”Anytime you come up and play UConn like that, the kids were really locked in the game plan, Georgetown coach James Howard said. ”It keeps you in the game and keeps your morale up a little bit. I think they know that they can get things done when they plan like a team.”
Fudd left the court with about 3 minutes left in the half after colliding with Georgetown’s Ariel Jenkins. She came back after halftime with a bag of ice on her right knee and did not play.
Nika Muhl said the team responded the same way it has all season – prayers for their teammate and renewed focus on on the court.
”I feel like, I always say, we’re kind of used to that (injuries),” she said. ”I don’t know if that is a good thing to say or a bad thing to say, but we are kind of used to it and we’re always hopeful still and hopefully she’s going to be OK.”
Georgetown: The Hoyas forced 23 UConn turnovers. But the Hoyas had 19 of their own and shot just 32.2%
UConn: The Huskies have won 18 straight Big East games. Coach Geno Auriemma coached his second game back after missing several games flu-like symptoms. He said Saturday that the lingering illness and the death of his mother in December has changed his perspective when it comes to basketball.
”I’ve coached for 35, 40 years thinking that if we don’t win the national championship I’m going to get fired, that’s not a healthy way to live,” he said Saturday.
He noted Sunday that while he tried, he didn’t always succeed in letting things roll off his back during the game, especially in the first half. It was something his assistant coaches noticed.
”I said, ‘If I was a big guy, I wouldn’t come to Connecticut unless you want to learn to get your shot blocked and miss layups,”’ Auriemma said. ”They were like, `So much for the new you.”’
Former UConn star Tina Charles spent time with the Huskies at practice this week playing mentor, especially to Edwards.
”It helped me work on my defense against a bigger, taller matchup and also offensively, trying to get buckets on her, which I did,” Edwards said.
Georgetown: Return home to play DePaul on Wednesday.
UConn: Head to New Jersey to face Seton Hall on Tuesday night.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25