Methods to watch
When: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: UConn Sports Network (97.9 ESPN and associates)
Report: 7-0 (2-0 Massive East)
Preseason ballot: seventh
Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania
Head coach: Denise Dillon (1st season)
UConn’s protection will get its greatest check of the season up to now when the Huskies journey to Finneran Pavilion to face Maddy Siegrist and the Villanova Wildcats.
The redshirt sophomore ahead is scoring 24.4 factors per sport to go along with 12.6 rebounds per sport — Thirteenth-most and sixth-most within the nation, respectively. Siegrist does most of her injury from contained in the arc with 84.2 % of her factors coming from two-point vary or the foul line.
Alongside Siegrist, seniors Brianna Herlihy (15.7 factors per sport) and Sarah Mortensen (11.2) assist energy Villanova’s offense whereas Raven Jones (2.9 assists per sport) does many of the distributing. She additionally hits 3-pointers at a 37.5 % clip — greatest on the staff.
Total, the Wildcats are an excellent staff, however shouldn’t give the Huskies a lot hassle. They sit within the high 100 for many offensive and defensive statistics however aren’t elite in lots of classes. Villanova’s greatest attribute is its passing with assists on 71.6 % of its baskets — ninth-best nationally. However on the opposite finish of the spectrum, the Wildcats battle from three, hitting a measly 14.2 % from past the arc.
Sequence historical past
UConn and Villanova have met 53 instances with the Huskies holding a 36-17 benefit. The Wildcats received the primary 15 conferences within the sequence however the script flipped in 1989 and it’s been nearly all UConn since. Villanova’s final two victories over the Huskies each got here towards Diana Taurasi groups that have been ranked No. 1 within the nation on the time. The Wildcats knocked off UConn 52-48 within the 2003 Massive East Match after which adopted it up with a 59-56 win in 2004.
Their final assembly got here in January of 2013, a 76-43 UConn victory.
Villanova sophomore Kenzie Gardler is the niece of former UConn ahead Meghan Gardler, who performed for the Huskies from 2006-2010. The youthful Gardler has performed in six video games for the Wildcats this season — together with a begin of their final matchup towards Creighton — and contributes 3.2 factors and 1.3 assists per sport.
By the numbers
3 — UConn has solely performed three faculties in its historical past greater than Villanova — Seton Corridor (62 instances), Windfall (61) and St. John’s (58).
5 — The Huskies will head into the Christmas break with 5 video games underneath their belt. Final yr, UConn performed its fifth sport on Nov. 24 — a 73-62 win at Ohio State.
10.0 — Aaliyah Edwards is UConn’s fourth-highest scorer at 10.0 factors per sport — greater than each Anna Makurat and Evina Westbrook in far fewer minutes. She’s been a pressure for the Huskies off the lane and within the bench and will solely get higher because the season progresses.
What to observe for
Who guards Siegrist? — Geno Auriemma isn’t convinced he has a great defensive team or a defensive stopper. However somebody may have a possibility to show themselves towards Siegrist. Westbrook will probably be tasked with guarding her at first, although Aubrey Griffin and Mir McLean might get a shot as nicely.
Do UConn’s photographs hold falling? — Up till final sport, UConn had been abysmal at capturing threes. Coming into the day towards Xavier, the Huskies made simply 28.6 of their photographs from past the arc. However UConn discovered its stroke towards the Musketeers, draining 10-18 (55.6 %) from deep with Christyn Williams hitting 4-5 (after beginning the yr 3-15) whereas Westbrook went 3-5. However is that efficiency the beginning of a turnaround for the Huskies’ capturing fortunes or simply an aberration?
Can Bueckers minimize down on turnovers? — For as spectacular as Paige Bueckers has been by the primary 4 video games of her profession, turnovers have been a problem for the freshman. She’s coughed the ball up 17 instances, six greater than the subsequent closest UConn participant and good for 4.25 per sport. Although it could be the season of giving, Bueckers must maintain the ball higher as UConn’s level guard and go-to participant on offense.