STORRS, Conn (AP)The Big East game between No. 5 UConn and DePaul on Sunday at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut, has been postponed because the Huskies don’t have enough healthy players available to suit up, the conference said Friday.
The conference requires schools to suit up seven scholarship players for any game, and injuries have left the Huskies with just six active players, the school said.
UConn also was expected to be without head coach Geno Auriemma, who announced Thursday that he is taking some time off to recover from an illness.
Junior Aaliyah Edwards and freshman Ayanna Patterson were injured in UConn’s win at Xavier on Thursday. They join sophomore Caroline Ducharme, sophomore Azzi Fudd, junior Paige Bueckers and freshman Ice Brady on the inactive list.
Edwards sustained what was described alternately as a right foot or ankle injury in the first half of the Huskies 73-37 victory, diving over some courtside seats for a loose ball. It was not immediately clear when or how Patterson was hurt.
The school said it would not release any further details Friday night.
”At UConn, the health and wellbeing of our student-athletes will always be our top priority,” David Benedict, the school’s athletic director, said in a statement. ”Our women’s basketball program has unfortunately been affected by an unprecedented number of injuries this season. While it’s unfortunate that we need to postpone Sunday’s game, it’s the right call to protect the safety of our student-athletes. We will work with the Big East and DePaul on options to reschedule the game.”
Bueckers and Brady are out for the season with knee injuries.
Fudd, the Huskies’ leading scorer, is expected to return shortly from a knee injury that has kept her on the bench since she was injured in a collision with Edwards during a Dec. 4 loss to Notre Dame. She has participated in warmups during the last three games as part of her rehab.
Guard Caroline Ducharme has missed two games while in concussion protocol after suffering an injury in practice.
The Huskies currently available to play include guards Nika Muhl, Lou Lopez Senechal, Ines Bettencourt and forwards Aubrey Griffin, Dorka Juhasz and Amari DeBerry.
Auriemma has missed four games this season due to illness, and it is not clear when he might return.
”It’s been an extremely difficult month for me, and I’ve been feeling under the weather and run down,” Auriemma said in a statement Thursday. ”I thought I was ready to return, but I need a little more time. I’m going to take a step back to focus on my health and will return when I feel ready.”
Despite the injuries, the Huskies have won six straight.
The school says those with tickets to Sunday’s game will be able to use them when the game is rescheduled.
UConn is next scheduled to play at St. John’s on Wednesday, while DePaul is scheduled to host Villanova that evening.
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