UConn dropped its first game of the season on Sunday afternoon in a loss that may prove to be costly.
— Notre Dame WBB (@ndwbb) December 4, 2022
UConn lost star guard Azzi Fudd in the opening minutes. Fudd went down after teammate Aaliyah Edwards fell into her right leg on a screen. Fudd went to the bench and later to the locker room to have it looked at before eventually returning to the game in the second quarter. Fudd, though, didn’t play in the second half.
The sophomore was averaging 24 points headed into Sunday. She would be a huge loss for UConn if she is out for significant time. It's unclear what her specific injury is or how long she will be sidelined.
“I think she’ll be alright,” Auriemma said of Fudd, via the Hartford Courant. “It was just one of those things that things happen and your own man falls on top of you. So she tried to go again, but obviously it didn’t look like she could move. So rather than rather than take any chances, I figured we’d take some precautions instead."
UConn will host Princeton next on Thursday, a game that head coach Geno Auriemma said he's "guessing" that she'll be available for.
Notre Dame was in a tight battle with UConn in the opening minutes before it closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run to take its first significant lead of the afternoon. From there, the Irish never looked back. They cruised to a 41-24 lead at halftime after holding the Huskies to 11 points in the second quarter and then held UConn to two field goals in the final three and a half minutes to pick up the 14-point win.
Lou Lopez-Senechal led UConn with 21 points while shooting 7-of-17 from the field, and Edwards added 14 points in the loss. The Huskies shot just 36.8% from the field as a team, and were out-rebounded by 13.
Olivia Miles led Notre Dame with 21 points and eight rebounds in the win. Maddy Westbeld added 17 points and nine rebounds, and center Lauren Ebo put up 12 points from the bench. The Irish shot better than 56% from the field as a team.
“You have to take it like it’s a long season and you don’t win national championships or lose national championships December 4,” Auriemma said, via the Hartford Courant. “But you do get to find out what it is that can help you down the road win one or what can prevent you from winning one down the road. So winning the game would have been great this afternoon, it would have been an awesome win here against a really, really good team. But the next best thing to winning the game was we kind of got a glimpse of like what could happen if we don’t make up for whatever it is missing.”