UConn bounces back with dominant win over Seton Hall: ‘We needed this game’

Jan 15, 2023; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies forward Dorka Juhasz (14) shoots against the Georgetown Hoyas in the first half at XL Center.
Jan 15, 2023; Hartford, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies forward Dorka Juhasz (14) shoots against the Georgetown Hoyas in the first half at XL Center. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The UConn Huskies remain one of the best teams in the country, but they had a hiccup Sunday against Georgetown.

Geno Auriemma’s group went on to win, 65-50, against the Hoyas, but it was not pretty. They scored fewer than 70 points for just the third time this season and had trouble with the 1-7 Hoyas. They also lost Azzi Fudd to a knee injury when the sophomore guard exited the game in the second quarter.

UConn has dealt with so much adversity this season including mounting injuries. Despite all of that, the Huskies are 16-2 (9-0 in Big East play) after Tuesday night’s dominant win over Seton Hall, and continue to persevere.

“There’s so much going on and we don’t have any control over any of it,” Auriemma said after the game. ”We do our best to put ourselves in the best situation as possible and let the game take us where it takes us.

“Injuries are part of the game. Some years are worse than others. It’s one thing to have them, it's another thing to let it become all-consuming and that’s all you can concern yourself with…We never allow ourselves to do that. We show up with the guys that we have and if we can put five guys on the floor we feel we have a chance to win every game. For as bad as we were Sunday in the flow of the game and attention to the detail we were 180 today. We were really on our game today.”

UConn scored 100-plus points for the first since 2021. Auriemma said their game plan was to use their bigs and control the tempo of the game by getting to the free-throw line as much as possible, especially with a lot of their shooters out.

“We needed this game,” Dorka Juhasz said. “As coach said, the last game we were out of it and couldn’t find the flow. For this game, our plan was for whoever was on the floor to have great flow and everyone was going to contribute.

"It was great to see everyone who played have confidence. That’s always the way we have to play. Of course we can’t always play this great every game but it shows we have so many weapons on the bench. Hopefully, more people are coming back and we can just keep building on this.”

All seven available players -- the conference minimum -- scored Tuesday night and UConn’s bigs led the way. Juhasz posted 22 points and 11 rebounds while Aaliyah Edwards added 21 points and 11 rebounds of her own.

Aubrey Griffin also reached the 20s, scoring 22 points along with her eight rebounds.

Juhasz, who transferred from Ohio State in April 2021, has become a steadying force in the starting lineup. The Hungarian native gives credit for her better play this season to the time being around her team.

“Obviously after I transferred you have to adjust to the new team and system. Last year was a great learning year for me, just coming in and helping out the big guys and help wherever I can,” Juhasz explained. “Coming off the bench a lot of the time was a little different than this year starting.”

Juhasz says her teammates have helped her become more confident and that her mindset has changed.

“Just being more aggressive,” she added. “Getting back to myself and the way I know I can play.”

With Fudd and other Huskies like Ayanna Patterson and Caroline Ducharme still out, UConn will continue to lean on their bigs like Juhasz and Edwards as they continue their dominant start in the Big East Conference.

Their next test will come against Butler as they look to run their undefeated conference record to 10-0.