Freshman Paige Bueckers scored 23 points and No. 3 UConn overcame a sluggish start to rout Providence 87-50 on Saturday and give coach Geno Auriemma his 1,098th win, tying the late Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for the second-most wins in Division I women’s basketball history.
Aubrey Griffin added a season-high 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds off the bench for the Huskies (7-0, 6-0 Big East).
Kyra Spiwak and Alyssa Geary each had 10 points to lead Providence (5-7, 3-4). Mary Baskerville, the Friars’ leading scorer at 14 points per game, spent much of the game in foul trouble and finished with eight points.
The Huskies showed the rust of playing for the first time in 11 days, going without a point for almost four minutes. They trailed 7-1 midway through the first quarter, prompting Auriemma to sub out his starters, with the exception of Bueckers.
Anna Makurat hit a 3-pointer that gave the Huskies their first lead at 13-12 and UConn led just 19-18 after the first quarter. Makurat had nine points, all of them from behind the arc.
The Huskies outscored Providence 68-32 from there, including 27-11 in the second quarter. That gave UConn a 46-29 lead at the half.
Tennessee transfer Evina Westbrook finished with 13 points for UConn and Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 11.
UConn: The Huskies dominated underneath, as they have all season. They outrebounded Providence 42-20 and outscored the Friars 44-18 in the paint.
Providence: The Friars had been holding other teams to just 60.5 points per game. UConn eclipsed that mark on a 3-pointer by Makurat in the third quarter.
Providence: The Friars are scheduled to travel to Pennsylvania for a game at Villanova on Wednesday.
UConn: The Huskies were expected to face Xavier on Wednesday, but the Musketeers were forced to suspend basketball activities because of COVID-19. The Big East shuffled things up and Seton Hall now is scheduled to come up to Gampel Pavilion.