The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)




When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Gampel Pavilion

Records: UConn (21-4, 14-1 Big East), Creighton (18-6, 12-4)


Radio: UConn Sports Network, WGCH 1490 AM (Greenwich), WAVZ 1300 AM (New Haven), WATR 1320 AM (Waterbury), 97.9 FM-ESPN


Back to work: UConn women’s basketball is looking to get back into rhythm this week against two of the top teams in the Big East.

The Huskies suffered their first Big East loss of the year last Wednesday at Marquette. Then, they escaped a fourthquar­ter comeback by Georgetown to win on the road in D.C. on Saturday.

Creighton comes into town on Wednesday in third place in the Big East standings behind UConn at No. 1 and Villanova with only one win separating the Huskies and Wildcats at the top.

UConn last beat the Bluejays 72-47 in December with only seven available players, as Azzi Fudd (knee), Aubrey Griffin (COVID-19) and Amari DeBerry (stuck in New York because of weather) were unavailabl­e.

Currently, the Huskies are playing with just eight available players as they wait for the return of Fudd and Caroline Ducharme (concussion).

Ducharme has progressed in her recovery and participat­ed in pregame warmups in UConn’s last three games but remained on the sideline wearing earplugs. The sophomore guard started in UConn’s win over Creighton in December and scored 11 points with eight rebounds in 35 minutes.

Saturday’s win over the Hoyas, showed the Huskies are still battling fatigue and struggling to not let it affect their mental errors on the court. If UConn is able to return Ducharme this week, that will open up the offense and lessen both the scoring and load management burdens on the current players. About Creighton: Since meeting UConn in December, the Bluejays have gone 10-2 with losses to Providence (Jan. 4, 79-75) and then-No. 22 Villanova ( Jan. 20, 73-57). Creighton brings a six-game win streak (the longest active in the Big East) to Wednesday’s game, looking for its firstever win over the Huskies. UConn is 6-0 against Creighton all-time.

Creighton most recently beat Xavier 73-53 on Sunday. The Bluejays shot a season-high 54.2% (13 of 24) from the 3-point line and forced Xavier into 17 turnovers.

The Bluejays have shot over 50% on both field goals and 3-pointers in their last three straight games. While UConn is No. 4 in the nation this season with an average 39.02 3-point field goal percentage, the Huskies have shot 25 percent or less from the perimeter in their last two games. Creighton leads the Big East with 9.3 made 3-pointers per game while UConn is No. 6 with 6.2 a game.

UConn’s biggest advantage on Wednesday will be its size in the paint as no one on Creighton’s roster stands taller than 6-foot-1. In December, the Huskies outrebound­ed Creighton 59-27 and outscored in the paint 40-22.

Creighton junior Emma Ronsiek was named to the Big East Weekly Honor roll on Monday after averaging 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and a 63.2 field goal percentage. With 10 points in the team’s win over Xavier on Sunday, Ronsiek became the 31st Creighton player to reach the 1,000-career point mark.

 ?? Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? UConn's Lou Lopez Senechal (11) celebrates a buzzer-beating 3-pointer against South Carolina on Feb. 5 in Hartford.
Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticu­t Media UConn's Lou Lopez Senechal (11) celebrates a buzzer-beating 3-pointer against South Carolina on Feb. 5 in Hartford.

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