UConn women’s basketball routs Georgetown, 85-44; Aaliyah Edwards gets senior night double-double (2024)

STORRS —All-American senior Aaliyah Edwards fittingly scored the first field goal for the UConn women’s basketball team in an 85-44 rout of Georgetown on Friday, and she exited the floor to a standing ovation as Gampel Pavilion celebrated Senior Night.

All three of UConn’s active seniors — Aubrey Griffin is out with a torn ACL — rose to the occasion against Georgetown, led by a team-high 26 points from Edwards. She continued her dominant streak from the opening tip off, logging eight points, five rebounds, two blocks and three steals on 100% shooting in the first quarter. She finished with a season-high 16 rebounds and three assists for her 14th double-double of the season and seventh in the last eight games.

“The confidence that she’s playing with now, the energy that she’s playing with, there’s a different look to her and a different approach,” Auriemma said. “I think it’s all confidence and hard work in practice. I fully expect that she can keep building on this for however much longer we have beyond the regular season.”

UConn women’s basketball routs Georgetown, 85-44; Aaliyah Edwards gets senior night double-double (1)

Paige Bueckers also had an impressive start with 13 points in the first half and nearly had a double-double with a season-best eight assists. The superstar guard finished with 21 points and three rebounds, and she recovered from a cold start on 3-pointers to finish 3-of-8. Bueckers, who has two years of eligibility remaining, also ended the night by announcing that she plans to return to play for UConn in 2024-25, answered by a deafening cheer from the Huskies fans.

PAIGE IS BACK pic.twitter.com/EVnJ9vIZCn

— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) February 17, 2024

“I felt like it would be a sort of burden lifted off my shoulders, being able to address the crowd who I love so much and appreciate so much,” Bueckers said. “And to walk out with these guys that I came in with, it just means the world to me … These guys are my sisters, so to be able to celebrate them and have our great celebration and to address the crowd like that, it was a great time to do it.”

Nika Muhl added another milestone on top of the senior celebration, logging her 600th career assist on a pass to Edwards for a layup with just under four minutes left in the first quarter. She is now fifth all-time in UConn’s record book, passing 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield. She finished with seven points and seven assists plus four rebounds and a steal.

UConn women’s basketball routs Georgetown, 85-44; Aaliyah Edwards gets senior night double-double (2)

“The first couple months of freshman year, I didn’t think she was going to get six assists much less 600,” Auriemma said. “She’s had good fortune to be healthy for the most part, and when you think about the people that are on that list, the other five, it’s pretty amazing to be in that company … She took a big risk coming all the way over here, so I’m thrilled for her. I root for her to be where she is right now, and it’s a real blessing … to coach her every day.”

No. 15 UConn (22-5, 14-0 Big East) led wire-to-wire against the Hoyas (16-10, 6-9), opening up a wide margin quickly thanks to a 20-2 run over more than five minutes in the first quarter. All five starters logged at least two made field goals with at least one assist, and every player that saw the court for at least five minutes recorded points.

But as impressive as their offensive production was, the Huskies were perhaps even harder to beat defensively. They generated five turnovers in the first four minutes and had 13 by halftime with 21 of their 46 first-half points coming off turnovers. Edwards led with four steals, but Bueckers and Shade added three apiece and the team finished with 14. Edwards also put up the team’s only two blocks. UConn finished with 27 points on 22 forced turnovers while giving up possession just 11 times.

It was a productive night for UConn’s entire starting lineup. Ashlynn Shade logged five rebounds on top of her three steals and eight points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field. KK Arnold also added eight points with three rebounds, a steal and an assist. Ice Brady built on her double-double against Xavier with another well-rounded performance off the bench, logging 10 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes on the floor.

However, coach Geno Auriemma was less active with his rotation than he was in Wednesday’s win over the last-place Musketeers. Only Brady played more than 10 minutes off the bench, and she was the only player to check in for more than two minutes over the first three quarters. Even when Shade briefly left the floor with an apparent left ankle injury early in the third quarter, she returned to the game just minutes later when the Huskies had a 21-point lead.

UConn women’s basketball routs Georgetown, 85-44; Aaliyah Edwards gets senior night double-double (2024)

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