Rhode Island

Juhasz, Muhl lead No. 5 UConn over Providence 64-54

PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) — Dorka Juhasz had 19 points and 17 rebounds and Nika Muhl added 14 points as No. 5 UConn held off Providence 64-54 on Wednesday night.

Lou Lopez Senechal and Aubrey Griffin each finished with 13 points as the Huskies recorded their 14th straight win. The pursuit of a 15th straight win will include a repeat of last year’s National Championship when UConn take on leaders South Carolina on Sunday.

The Huskies (21-2, 13-0 Big East) shot 51% and held the Friars at 36%. UConn has committed 20 turnovers, many of which helped keep Providence (13-11, 4-9) in the picture. Olivia Olsen led Providence with 13 points while Janai Crooms and Nariah Scott had 11 points each.

The Huskies shot 69 percent in the first quarter and built a 20-14 lead that probably would have been bigger if UConn hadn’t flipped the ball six times. The second quarter saw more turnover issues, yet UConn led 37-26 at halftime with Juhasz and Muhl scoring 11 points each.

UConn appeared close to taking control after a layup by Lopez Senechal led to the 45-30, but outsider Friars made things interesting. Five straight points from Scott, a reserve guard, capped a 9-0 run that forced UConn to call a timeout at 1:23 in the third quarter after Providence drew to six (45-39).

Lopez Senechal gave UConn a 58-41 lead, part of a 10-2 run that opened the fourth quarter. Once again, Providence closed with Scott’s third 3 in single digits, making it 60-52 with 3:13 remaining. The Huskies responded by scoring on back-to-back possessions as Juhasz capped their strong display with an inside hit that pushed the lead back into double figures.


UConn: Wednesday was the fifth time in 12 days that UConn was on court. Three of these competitions have taken place with the Huskies acting as the visiting team. The busy period comes at a time when head coach Geno Auriemma only has eight healthy players. The walking wounded included two sophomore guards, Caroline Ducharme (concussion) and Azzi Fudd (right knee). Ducharme missed her 10th straight game on Wednesday, while Fudd was out for the 14th time this season, spanning two stints. Between Ducharme and Fudd, the Huskies are trying to fill 27 combined points every time they step on the court.

Providence: The brothers fell to UConn for the 33rd straight year. The last time Providence defeated the Huskies was in the semifinals of the 1993 Big East Tournament. … Providence is now 1-3 against nationally ranked opponents this season.


UConn: Return home for a Sunday showdown against leaders South Carolina. It’s the sixth game of the season against a top-25 team.

Providence: Travel to Seton Hall on Saturday.


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

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