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UConn women’s basketball survives Providence, 69-61

UConn women’s basketball took the win at Providence on Sunday night, 69-61. Although the final margin was in the single digits, the Huskies were in control most of the time and pulled away in the fourth quarter, but let a bigger lead shrink on the stretch.

Christyn Williams led the Huskies, scoring 19 points and shooting 67% from the floor, including 2-3 from three-pointers. She also led the team with seven rebounds and added four assists. Evina Westbrook, Caroline Ducharme and Olivia Nelson-Ododa also scored in double figures.

In the last of UConn’s setbacks, the Huskies were without Dorka Juhász who missed the game with a foot injury. Aaliyah Edwards replaced Juhász in the starting lineup and had arguably her best half of the season, scoring seven points while grabbing four rebounds and four assists in the first half. She finished the game with nine points, six boards and five assists.

Providence forced UConn to succeed in the half-court offense, allowing UConn just four quick break points in the game. The Huskies built on their lead throughout the game, but failed to execute the offensive side during stretches and allowed Providence to trail. The brothers turned 16 UConn turnovers into 20 points. The Huskies also had no response for Janai Crooms who scored 27 points on 8-11 shooting from the floor in the ball game.

It was not a first quarter banner for the UConn offense. They started the game 1-6 from the floor and turned the ball over four times, but shook things up late in the quarter to reach 15 points. Defensively, the Huskies were disruptive in passing lanes and held Providence to just 3-15 shots from the floor.

Both teams started tossing the ball in the second quarter, trading baskets back and forth. Turnovers continued to plague the Huskies, but they ended the half on a 13-0 run to head to the locker room with a 36-23 lead.

Providence outscored UConn 19-14 in the third quarter. The Friars doubled the Huskies’ field goal attempts due to a combination of UConn turnovers and cleaning on the offensive glass. That left the Huskies’ lead in single digits heading into the final quarter. They started the final period with a 6-0 run to pull away, and while the lead dwindled in the final minutes, the Huskies were in control throughout the final ten minutes.

UConn has another Great East next road contest, at Creighton on Wednesday evening. The match will be televised at 7:30 p.m. on SNY.