STORRS, Conn. (AP)Aaliyah Edwards had 23 points, leading six players who scored in double figures for ninth-ranked UConn in a 98-73 win over Seton Hall on Wednesday.
Caroline Ducharme and Nika Muhl each had 16 points and were a combined 8 of 11 from 3-point range. Lou Lopez Senechal had 14 points, Aubrey Griffin added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Dorka Juhasz had 10 points and 10 rebounds for UConn (9-2, 2-0 Big East).
UConn coach Geno Auriemma missed his second straight game due to illness. Associate coach Chris Dailey ran the team and improved to 15-0 when filling in for Auriemma.
”I thought they showed great maturity to come out and play the way they did,” Dailey said. ”In the second half, we showed the same kind of aggressiveness that we showed in the first, we kept up the pace and kept the score at a pretty good clip.”
Sidney Cooks had 18 points and Lauren Park-Lane finished with 17 for Seton Hall (9-4, 2-1), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped.
”I thought scoring 73 points against Connecticut says a lot about us and our abilities,” Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella said. ”I think our kids, once they understood the speed of Connecticut and athleticism, they adjusted better.”
UConn has dealt with injuries to key players, including losing former national player of the year Paige Bueckers for the season. Leading scorer Azzi Fudd has missed the last four games and now the team has played without their Hall of Fame head coach two games in a row.
”We’ve had a lot of experience doing it so I think that experience from last year and earlier in the season has helped us with coaches being out and players being out,” Dailey said. ”They did show maturity showing that they had just one focus and that was the game. They didn’t let the outside distractions and drama impact their approach. I think this was a big step for them in terms of how they handled the last week.”
Seton Hall came into the game ranked 10th out of 11 Big East teams in 3-point shooting percentage, but fired up 16 3-pointers in the first half. Shailyn Pinkney and Jala Jordan hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14 points.
Ducharme, who was two of nine from 3-point range over her last four games, connected on a pair of 3s and UConn had a 53-31 lead at halftime.
UConn began to dominate inside after halftime, with 15 of the 19 shots in the third quarter inside the 3-point line to take a 38-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
UConn: The Huskies defeated Seton Hall for the 36th time in a row and improved to 56-10 in the series against the Pirates.
The UConn players won’t have to be back on campus until Christmas Day. Dailey believes it is the first since she since and Auriemma arrived in 1985 that the team has to report on the holiday because the Dec. 28 game is on the road.
Edwards said the Huskies are getting over a challenging start to the season.
”We are back in our groove, doing the things that are up to our standards and expectations,” she said. ”I think coming from the break, we are going to keep feeding off that momentum and keep doing the things we do well.”
Dailey did not have a timetable for when Fudd might return. She was expected to miss 3-6 weeks after injuring her right knee in early December against Notre Dame. When the team returns to campus on Christmas Day, that’s the three-week point.
”I know her rehab is going well,” Dailey said. ”I know she looks good with the things that she is doing but where she stands, that is up to our medical staff and Azzi.”
Seton Hall: Hosts Georgetown on Dec. 28.
UConn: Plays at No. 21 Creighton on Dec. 28.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25