What you need to know ahead of the Huskies v. Hoosiers Sweet 16
To reach the round of 16 of the NCAA women’s tournament for the second year in a row, the No 3. Indiana Hoosiers had to edge out Princeton in the final seconds of their last game to win 56-55.
The Huskies edged out a win over their last opponent as well, showing passion and overcoming the aggression of the UCF Knights play for play and keeping their heads late in the game to control the 52-47 outcome.
After the game head coach Geno Auriemma said, “I can honestly say that, given the kind of season we’ve had, I thought I’d pretty much seen it all. But this was a rather new experience for me. It was what we thought it would be. It was going to be really ugly looking, and it was. And we could have just as easily let that game get away from us and we didn’t. There’s something to be said for that, that you can win a game that you probably would look back and say I’m not sure how we won that game, but we did.”
This will be 28th consecutive Sweet 16 for UConn and they will have to contend with an experienced Indiana team looking for their time in the spotlight. The Huskies will counter with a revolving cast of battle-hardened players.
UConn Huskies senior guard Christyn Williams #13, was named All-Big East First Team, and the Big East tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Williams was the leading scorer this season with 14.6 points per game, and put up 12 points against UCF. Head coach Geno Auriemma said, “Christyn played like the kind of senior you need to be at this time of her career.”
UConn Huskies guard Azzi Fudd #35, Big East All-Freshman Team has made her presence known coming back after an enduring foot injury. The leading scorer against UCF with 16 points including 3 three pointers and 4-4 from the foul line in clutch situations.
UConn Huskies guard Nika Muhl #10, Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
About Muhl, Geno Auriemma said, “But it’s interestingly that both last year and this year, things changed significantly when we put Nika in the starting lineup. Obviously, she plays a pretty significant role, and she loves the defensive side of the ball. She gives us something no one else does.”
UConn Huskies guard Paige Bueckers #5, is back after missing 19 games this season. Geno Auriemma said after the UCF game, “I don’t expect Paige to play great. But having her on the court, obviously, benefits us in so many ways. And the fact that I had her on the floor for 32 minutes says something, you know.”
UConn Huskies forward Olivia Nelson-Ododa #20, also named All-BIG EAST First Team, averaged 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in the conference on the season, shooting 61.1 percent from the field -- second in the Big East. Nelson-Ododa also averaged 4.0 assists and 1.6 blocks per game.
UConn Huskies forward Aaliyah Edwards #3, BIG EAST All-Tournament Team appeared in every game this season. Wearing purple and yellow braids to pay homage to the Lakers and Kobe Bryant, Edwards is a rock defending the basket with a career 11 rebounds against Marquette.