The Washington Post
No. 9 Huskies secure 10th straight league title
The No. 9 Connecticut women have won a conference regular season, conference tournament or national championship in each of the past 30 years. This one was more difficult than most.
Aaliyah Edwards had 19 points to help the Huskies secure the Big East regular season crown with a 60-51 win over Xavier on Monday night in Storrs, Conn.
Caroline Ducharme chipped in 14 points and Lou Lopez Sénéchal scored 12 for U- Conn. (26-5, 18-2 Big East), which has won a regular season league title 29 times — including in each of the past 10 seasons, the most recent three back in the Big East.
It was the 10th consecutive game with a single-digit margin for a program that had become accustomed to blowing teams out. Coach Geno Auriemma said that must change for the Huskies to win a 10th straight conference tournament title — or a 12th national championship.
“Who we are right now? It ain’t happening,” he said before adding, “They could fool me.”
Nika Muhl had five points and seven assists, setting the school’s single-season assist record. The junior from Croatia, who became the starting point guard after star Paige Bueckers suffered a seasonending knee injury over the summer, has 236.
Fernanda Ovalle had nine points to lead the Musketeers (7-22, 0-20), who lost their 19th straight game.
U- Conn. scored eight of the first 10 points but saw Xavier take a 22-20 lead in the second quarter.
The Huskies gathered themselves from there. Ayanna Patterson’s driving layup gave U- Conn. a 36-24 lead at halftime.
The Huskies led by as many as 18 points in the second half but just 50-38 after three quarters. They had a hard time separating themselves from the Musketeers.
A championship “is always the goal, so it feels good to accomplish that,” Ducharme said. “But there’s a standard, and the way we’ve been playing is not up to the standard of how we know we can play.”
U- Conn. played without starting forward Dorka Juhasz, who sprained her right ankle Saturday against Depaul. Auriemma said he expects Juhasz to be available for the conference tournament.
Azzi Fudd (knee) warmed up with the team before the game and could return this weekend.
• BAYLOR 63, TEXAS 54: Freshman Darianna LittlepageBuggs finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds off the bench to lead the Bears (19-10, 10-7 Big 12) to an upset of the No. 12 Longhorns (22-8, 13-4) in Austin.
Littlepage-buggs, who averages 9.5 rebounds to lead all freshmen, has 10 double-doubles this season for Baylor. Sarah Andrews added 17 points and seven rebounds, while Ja’mee Asberry scored 10.
Reserve Taylor Jones paced Texas with 15 points and 13 rebounds for her third double-double. Rori Harmon totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and Shaylee Gonzales scored 10.
• VILLANOVA 83, SETON HALL 56: Maddy Siegrist scored 24 of her 32 points after halftime, Christina Dalce had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and the No. 17 Wildcats (26-5, 17-3 Big East) beat the Pirates (17-13, 10-10) in South Orange, N. J.
Siegrist, who came in leading the country at 28.9 points per game, had only three shot attempts in the first half, but she made all six of her free throws for eight points at halftime. She finished 10 for 16 from the field and made 11 straight free throws.
Maddie Burke added 12 points for Villanova, which has won 11 of its past 14 vs. Seton Hall. The Wildcats’ 26 wins are their most since 2002-03.
• HOWARD 60, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 55:
Aziah Hudson scored 15 points to lead the Bison (13-13, 9-4 Mid-eastern Athletic Conference) past the Lady Bulldogs (3-25, 2-11) in Orangeburg, S.C.
No. 7 Baylor men hold on
LJ Cryer and Dale Bonner scored 15 points apiece as the No. 7 Baylor men held off Oklahoma State, 74-68, in Stillwater, Okla.
Jalen Bridges had 14 points and Adam Flagler added 13 for the Bears (22-8, 11-6 Big 12), who have won two in a row since losses at Kansas State and Kansas. Baylor played without leading scorer Keyonte George, who sprained his right ankle in Saturday’s 81-72 victory over Texas.
The Cowboys (16-14, 7-10) trailed by 17 with three minutes left but cut their deficit to 69-65 on John-michael Wright’s threepointer with 37 seconds left. From there, the Bears made 5 of 6 free throws to seal the victory.
• HOWARD 82, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 78:
Jelani Williams had 23 points and seven rebounds to help the Bison (18-12, 10-3 MEAC) stay in first place with a win over the Bulldogs (5-24, 2-11) in Orangeburg, S.C.