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Three weeks since their last game, UConn women mark a victory over Creighton

After a 21-day hiatus due to injuries and COVID-19, the 11th-ranked UConn women’s basketball team returned to the floor Sunday and took down the Big East-leading Creighton Bluejays 63-55.

Finally able to field seven players (the minimum required by the Big East), UConn was still down Paige Bueckers, Azzi Fudd and Aubrey Griffin, all with injuries. The first half showed consistent play and a 36-29 lead for the Huskies at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

A burst of speed in the second half kept the Bluejays stifled as Huskies guard Caroline Ducharme scored a team-high 17 points on the night, followed by guard Christyn Williams with 13. Dorka Juhász had a solid showing with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, as did Aaliyah Edwards with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.

The Huskies at one point led by 17, but the Bluejays cut the deficit to nine in the final few minutes before they ran out of time.

Ducharme, a freshman and the fifth-ranked recruit nationally, had five rebounds and three blocks, marking two good games in a row despite a loss to Louisville on Dec. 19, the last time the UConn women saw the court.

Bueckers, who had knee surgery Dec. 14, is projected to return in February.

“I think her rehab is going well,” head coach Geno Auriemma said recently. “She looks good, she feels good. She’s probably the only one happy that those games were all postponed.”

Noting that it’s been hard to work on anything during the past few weeks, Auriemma said the first game back “was pretty good.” He added, “Hopefully we can keep improving every day – at this point in the season that has to be our focus.”

The win advanced UConn to 7-3 on the season and 2-0 in Big East. This Wednesday, the team travels to Indianapolis to take on the Butler Bulldogs.